DVD Review - The Hit List

Cole Hauser (left) and Cuba Gooding Jr.
in "The Hit List"
I think I liked this movie better when it was called Collateral and when it was directed by Michael Mann. There are some slight changes. The black guy this time is the assassin and the white guy is the straight one who gets dragged along for a murder ride.

Cuba Gooding, Jr. plays Jonas Arbor, an assassin who decides to stop working for whomever employs him and be a kind of death santa. Instead of giving wrapped presents by reindeer sleigh, he gives the gift of murder by way of bullets or other heavy pieces of metal. Jonas picks a man at a bar who is having a bad day and would like some people dead.

Cole Hauser plays Allan Campbell, that man at the bar. Hauser is a great actor with a great presence. I'm not sure I've ever seen him play an average joe or a guy whose down on his luck or simply a person as terrified as he is here. Hauser is so good at being strong either physically or emotionally that seeing him cower here is a little off-putting.

Unlike Collateral, both Hauser and Gooding are almost completely humorless. Unlike Michael Mann, William Kaufman's direction is not nearly as fun or possesses many flairs. The script isn't really all that clever. The movie starts off Hitchcockian, but quickly descends and never gets back above C-level Michael Mann, maybe B-level.

Three Stars out of Five.
Rated R for violence and language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 30 mins.


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