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  • Hit Man: Good humoured crime caper


Hit Man: Good humoured crime caper

Director Richard Linklater's newest Netflix movie is loosely based on the story of an undercover gun for hire and an incredibly fun watch.★★★★

Photo: A KILLER ROMANCE (HIT MAN) Netflix/AGC Studios

When news of Richard Linklater’s latest movie (original title Hit Man) crossed my desk, I found myself doing a double take. When I think of Linklater, his demanding but rewarding films like Boyhood and the Before romance series, executed with his signature sincerity and concerned with the passage of time, jump to mind.

But A Killer Romance is a warm reminder of just how diverse and distinctive his cinematic universe can be: this is the man behind the 2003 musical comedy School of Rock, the cult coming-of-age stoner comedy Dazed and Confused and the beautifully-observed jock melodrama Everybody Wants Some!!.

The film is loosely based on the true story of Gary Johnson, who worked with Texas prosecutors as an undercover gun for hire, posing as a hitman often disguised in outlandish get-ups and wiretapping meetings with people who wanted to off their lovers and bosses – leading to them to be charged with conspiracy to murder.

This good-humoured crime caper retains all of what we find great about the director’s oeuvre: sentimentality mixed with an uncomplicated register of sunny genialism. Watching A Killer Romance, one might be forgiven for placing this in the goofy unreality of the Coen brothers’ canon. Its foremost flaw is that the gravity of offscreen violence and noir cynicism doesn’t quite match up to the screwball nature of the picture. But this doesn’t take away the sheer enjoyment of this rompy outing. A hit, indeed. ★★★★ 

  • Out June 3.