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Why you Need to Watch ‘Hit Man’ (2024 Movie)

Glen Powell looks at a woman wearing Ray Ban glasses in a still from the 2024 movie Hit Man, which you need to watch

5 reasons why you absolutely need to watch the 2024 Glen Powell movie Hit Man and all you need to know about what is about to become your new favorite film!

After its World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival and a successful festival run, Richard Linklater’s 2024 movie Hit Man is finally hitting our screens! Glen Powell and Adria Arjona star in a film that you absolutely need to watch, and we are here to explain why! Here’s a list of 5 reasons to watch the Before Trilogy director’s latest, which we guarantee is about to become your new favorite movie. And if you’re wondering where to watch it – in theaters or streaming – and all you need to know about it, we have you covered! Keep scrolling to find answers to all of these questions, and don’t forget to read our full review of Hit Man!

1. Hit Man‘s Irresistible Premise

Adria Arjona and Glen Powell face each other, their bodies touching, in a still from the movie Hit Man
Why you Need to Watch ‘Hit Man’ (2024) – A movie still (Netflix)

It would be best if you went into the movie knowing as little as possible. In fact, we’d recommend not even watching the trailer, which gives out quite a lot of information. But what you definitely need to know is that Hit Man has a fantastic premise. At the center of the film is the most ordinary, unnoticeable person in the world, whose name is Gary Johnson (Glen Powell, of Top Gun: Maverick).

Gary is a psychology and philosophy professor at a New Orleans university, and though he certainly knows a lot about the Ego, ID, and SuperEgo, he’s not exactly charismatic. But Gary has a secret. In his spare time, he has another job, where he transforms himself into someone else entirely. Whenever the New Orleans Police needs help catching people looking to hire a hit man, he helps them. When we meet him, he is the “man in the van” who records the police’s “fake hit man” talking to prospective offenders, wearing a wire. But one day, he is promoted to “hit man” himself, and everything changes.

What immediately sets the tone is Gary’s transformation. If “professor Gary” is ordinary in every possible way, “hit man Gary” is exciting and unpredictable. He effortlessly (and disquietingly) adapts his personality to fit every single client, leaving even the police in shock. From this deceptively simple premise comes a gem of a movie that needs to be seen to be believed, where you’ll find yourself laughing uncontrollably with every new disguise, anticipating the moment when things inevitably get messy. And it’s this very same premise that allows the movie to take you on an absurd, Coen Brothers-reminiscent journey that will keep on surprising you till the very end.

2. Hit Man is Based on a True Story

A man sits at a small table in his house looking at his two cats, who are also eating, in a still from the movie Hit Man which you absolutely need to watch
Why you Need to Watch ‘Hit Man’ (2024 Movie) – A still from the film (Netflix)

While the story of Hit Man comes from writer-director Richard Linklater and co-writers Glen Powell and Skip Hollandsworth, the premise is based on a true story. It all dates back to a Texas Monthly article about a man named – you guessed it – Gary Johnson, described as “the most sought-after professional killer in Houston.” Needless to say, this Gary also worked for the police, but he was so popular due to his many disguises.

As the article explains, his clients knew him by a variety of names. When they called him, they each got a different version of the man, but they all believed him to be a professional hit man; he was so charming that they all trusted him immediately. From women wanting to get rid of their husbands to employees angry at their bosses, people have “hired” him to kill others, and they all ended up in jail.

What’s interesting is that, while Linklater’s protagonist is a professor who doubles as a hit man, the real life Gary Johnson was the exact opposite. He was a staff investigator for Harris County who taught some classes at a local community college, to keep up appearances. On top of this, the real Gary Johnson also lived with two cats and wore glasses. Hit Man takes this premise to the extreme, but knowing the story comes from real events makes it a more exciting watch.

3. Oh So Many Glen Powells

Five different personas all played by Glen Powell in the 2024 movie Hit Man, which you absolutely need to watch
Why you Need to Watch ‘Hit Man’ (2024 Movie) – A still from the film (Netflix)

As you’ll have surely guessed, the very premise of Hit Man means that we’re going to see not one, but many, many versions of Glen Powell. The most obvious ones are “professor Gary” and “hit man Gary,” but it’s even more fascinating than that. Since Gary adopts a new disguise with every single client, we get to see so many fake hit men that come from his imagination, who become more unlikely and ridiculous as time goes by. This is a source of much hilarity, and it also helps make a statement about the kind of people who populate our modern world, and our own prejudices as to what a real “hit man” should look like.

Eventually, Gary conjures up a hit man whose personality he likes, and who is so special that he gets his own name: Roy. Roy is the opposite of Gary: he’s charming, smooth talking, and exudes confidence. When Roy and prospective client Madison’s (Adria Arjona, of Good Omens) paths collide, Gary effectively becomes Roy, and we like him just as much as Madison does, even knowing that his whole persona is a lie. But is it, really? After all, Roy is a part of Gary, too, and so are all the other “Glen Powells” we meet in Hit Man. Which is yet another reason why you need to watch the movie!

4. The Psychologically Compelling Question Hit Man Asks Us

Glen Powell stands in front of a whiteboard and shrugs in a still from the 2024 movie Hit Man which you absolutely need to watch
Why you Need to Watch ‘Hit Man’ (2024 Movie) – A still from the film (Netflix)

…Which leads me to my next point. Yes, Hit Man is hilarious, and its premise itself will have you laughing from start to end, with your eyes glued to the screen the entire time. But this is a Linklater movie, and, as such, it’s a philosophically and psychologically compelling one. Sure, it’s not as abstract as Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly, but it still asks us a fascinating question.

It all goes back to Gary’s lecture at the beginning of the movie, where he explains that each of us has an ID, a Superego, and an ID — that is, a part of us that’s driven entirely by instinct (ID), one that’s rational and makes up our moral code (Superego), and one that regulates the two (Ego), making us who we are. But if one were to have different moral codes to adhere to and be driven by different instincts and desires, what happens then?

In Hit Man, each version of Gary is valid, because they all come from his own mind. Roy feels particularly real as it gives Gary the confidence he needs to be a version of himself that’s charming and self-assured. It feels natural for Gary to be Roy, and this takes us back to the question he asked his students in class: “What if your self is a construction; the role you’ve been playing every day?.” In the movie, Gary effectively plays many roles, constructing is own “selves,” but that doesn’t make them any less real. Which ultimately leads to the question Hit Man asks: Who are we? Which version of us is the real us?

5. Where You Can (and Need to) Watch Hit Man

Why you Need to Watch ‘Hit Man’ (2024 Movie) – The Official Trailer (Netflix)

Here’s another reason why you need to watch Hit Man: you can watch it on the big screen! Though Netflix acquired the film in September 2023 (for $20 million!), it will also have a limited theatrical release. Hit Man will be released in select theaters in the United States, United Kingdom, and globally on May 24, 2024. This is very good news, as the movie deserves to be seen with a crowd, which will make each reaction to its many twists all the more enjoyable. If you miss it in cinemas, do not despair: you can stream Hit Man on Netflix from June 7, 2024.

Hit Man will be released in select US theaters and UK cinemas on May 24, 2024 and on Netflix on June 7, 2024. Read our review of Hit Man below!

Hit Man (2024) Film Review – Loud And Clear Reviews
Review: Richard Linklater’s Hit Man is genuinely a lot of fun, with a scene-stealing and star-making lead performance from Glen Powell.
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