Action Movie Fanatix Review: The Hit List

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Who’s On Your List?

Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr., Cole Hauser, Jonathan Lapaglia, Ginny Weirick, David Andriole

Director: William Kaufman

2011  |  90 Minutes  |  Rated R

“What is this, some kind of fag bar?” – Jonas Arbor

Cuba Gooding Jr. keeps putting out more and more direct to video action movies and I, quite frankly, can’t get enough of them.  They aren’t all perfect but I can’t not watch them… or buy them used for really cheap.

Allan Campbell (Cole Hauser) has just had the worst day of his life.  He owes a bookie for a bad bet.  He gets passed over for a promotion at work.  And when he gets home he finds out that his wife has been cheating on him with his best friend.  Allan goes to a bar to get drunk and meets Jonas Arbor (Cuba Gooding Jr.), a professional killer.  Allan, of course, doesn’t believe Jonas when he tells him what he does for a living.  Jonas has Allan write down five names of people he wants killed and Jonas will prove it to Allan.  One by one Jonas starts killing the people on Allan’s list.  Allan races to stop the murders, all the while being chased by the police.

I think most of us would be lying if we said that we hadn’t, at some point, made a hit list.  Not that we’d ever actually act on it but there are times in our lives where there is a list of people constantly running through the back of our heads who we’d rather not have in our lives.

Allan Campbell is a good guy.  He’s not the killing type but after a really crap couple of days he meets a stranger in a bar who asks him to make a list.  Allan Campbell is probably such a nice guy that he never thought about this sort of thing.  But, with a little prodding, he writes down a few names.  Cole Hauser’s early interactions at work and with his wife are a little wooden but as soon as Cuba Gooding, Jr. comes into the picture their back and forth dialogue is awesome

Cuba Gooding, Jr. plays the bad ass psychopath hit man to perfection.  I don’t think I have ever seen him turn in a really poor performance.  Some better or worse than others but never really bad.  The guy is just a good actor and hasn’t gotten the respect that he deserves for the past few years.  Fortunately for action fans, though probably not his pocket book, that means he’s been doing some good and some not so good DTV action movies.  Cuba’s Jonas Archer (awesome name!) seems like a scumbag for a good portion of the movie but by the end he will probably find some redemption (2013’s most overused movie title word) in most viewers’ eyes.

Most of the action is pretty tame, quick kills by a professional hitman, but the finale is pretty fantastic.  It’s basically a rampaging Jonas Arbor vs. Allan Campbell.  It might not be as overly original as the original idea but it’s still a fun ending to an entertaining B-action movie.

Aside from a few instances of cheap production values, The Hit List is a pretty solid movie.  It’s actually one of the best DTV action movies Cuba Gooding Jr. has done so far.  For some people that is really saying something, for others nothing at all.  If you are in group A then give this a go.

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