A Friend with Scary Benefits
Allan Campbell (Cole Hauser) is not having a good day as not only does he lose out on a promotion he was counting on in order to deal with some gambling debts but he then finds his wife cheating on him with his best man. Having headed to a bar to drown his sorrows he meets a stranger by the name of Jonas (Cuba Gooding Jr.), a highly trained government agent who having become jaded decided to go rogue. When Jonas tells Allan that he is paid to kill people and asks him to come up with a list of five people he would like dead Allan reels off a list including his boss, his wife, the bookie he is in deep to, his best man and also the guy who was promoted over him. But when the next day he learns that his boss has been killed he realises that the stranger was serious and now there are four others on a list he came up with who will die unless he can stop Jonas.
I imagine that if I ever put my ideas down on paper for a movie it would end up some thing like "The Hit List". But I don't mean that in the sense that my ideas are similar to those in this movie but the ideas in this movie are better than the final product. Basically this is one of those movies which are undone by its limitations be it time or budget and as such for everything which is good about it there are as many things which are bad such as a high speed car chase with Jonas supposedly driving yet none of it convinces. And sadly some of the acting ends up what is wrong with the movie with even Cuba Gooding Jr. forcing some of his character's issues such as the cough he has.
But as I said the ideas in "The Hit List" are good and the whole concept of this government killer going rogue, and let's be frank a little loopy, is an entertaining one as he sets about killing his "New friend's" hit list. There is some thing quite fascinating about how Allan is going to deal with things as people get eliminated. And at the same time we not only have cops investigating the killings but also the government trying to bring down their rogue agent before he gets completely out of control. But at the same time as being fascinating most of what you get is pretty routine especially when it comes to the cops with Jonathan LaPaglia playing a generic tough talking detective.
What this all boils down to is that "The Hit List" is another one of those movies which whilst entertaining is nothing special with it being a case of being one of those movies with ideas better than the final product.