Saturday, October 07, 2006

Top 5 Hitman Movies

"Can we try with real bullets now?"
Here are the finest five of them all.

5) Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
This is a real gem. A clever action comedy which you can actually see with your girlfriend. John Cusack is a hitman who goes back to his home town to do one last hit and at the same time attend his high school reunion, and starts rethinking about his carreer choices and his life. Sounds like a middle-age crisis movie hidden under the whole troubled hitman scenario, but in reality it's much more than that. Cool dialogues, really really good action sequences and some belly laughs make this movie a must-see.

4) Ichi The Killer a.k.a. Koroshiya 1 (2001)
Cult as hell, this one has some of the cruelest scenes you 're ever likely to see in Asian filmmaking, let alone Hollywood. It's the story of a mentally challenged but highly skillful hitman who gets tangled in a Yakuza kidnapping case. The story is too complex to explain, plus if I try, I'll reveal some of the key elements that make this movie so special. It's a creation of Takashi Miike ("Kiri kiri kiri" ring any bells?), so expect a twist in the end and some sick, sick stuff. Not a pure hitman movie, it's an alternate take on the exploitation of a man's weaknesses and moral boundaries. Not for the faint of heart.

3) Collateral (2004)
Tom cruise plays Vincent, a hitman who gets into Jamie Foxx's cab and forces him to drive him around town to complete his dirty work. A trully dark performance by Cruise, getting better over the years, plus amazing chemistry between the leading duo. Michael Mann is at his best, giving us a cool thriller set in LA, as beatiful as ever. This movie is so smart, it actually puts a hitman and a peaceful cab driver stuck in the same place, talking about the morality of killing and all the stuff that drive the viewer deep into the mind of a hired assasin. Witty dialogues and satisfying action sequences too, which could mayyybe make this the best hitman movie, if not for the crappy ending and some huge plot holes.

2) Nikita (1990)
Nikita is a cop killer who gets a second chance in life by becoming a professional assasin for a government agency. This is Besson's first masterpiece, a really stylish movie with "cool" written all-over it. Anne Parillaud gives a wonderful performance, first a wild untamed junkie and then a tender and used, reformed assasin. She becomes a vacant person, seeking for freedom and redemption. Nikita actually reinvented the whole hitman genre, showing the human side of the up-until-then cold blooded murderers. Doing so, this movie got ripped off by so many hitman movies, that the genre lost some of its appeal. Don't watch the remake, it lacks Besson's passion and style.

1) Leon (1994)
Not only the best hitman movie ever, but also one of the most artistically perfect movies ever. Besson's stylish yet moving direction, one of the best bad guys ever for Gary Oldman, Jean Reno as the child-like, innocent assasin and Natalie Portman as the grown-up Mathilda. Reno and Portman's carreers owe a lot to this movie, showing their talent to the whole world. The script deals with so many things, the moral aspect of killing, the exploitation of the weak, revenge and corruption, lost innocence, friendship and forbidden love, it's maybe the first film to justify paedophilia (although it's only hinted) after Lolita. Deep development of characters, action with a reason, moving finale. Everything you could ask for in a movie.

John Woo's The Killer finished 6th, The Jackal is so flawed (never seen the original though), A Long Kiss Goodnight is a total rip-off of Nikita, Pulp Fiction,Reservoir Dogs and Ripley's Game aren't actually hitman movies, and Jason Bourne and The Bride were assasins, but now they just seek revenge. Maybe in the Top 5 revenge movies then.


Anonymous said...

Nice top 5.

You might definitly wanna see "The day of the Jackal" (original of "The Jackal). Much, much better and exciting till the end.

Josh said...

Collateral? Really? I agreed with every other on but collateral? Replace with Soundless by Mennan Yapo and you've got it!

Josh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kenny Ken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kenny Ken said...

What about ghost dog by Jim Jarmusch - reinvented the genre also with the urban hip-hop meets code of the bushido dimension! And also what about Le Samourai by Melville, way before Nikita, that was the first hitman movie to show the human side.... :

Anonymous said...

I agree. The Day of the Jackal was one of the best hit men movies ever. Great movie.

mrigank shekhar said...

what about "smokin aces" friends ???

Louis said...

Where is "The Killer" ???

Still the best Hitman movie at all times, and there is the best portrait of Hitman ever seen at film (played by Yun-Fat Chow)

I agree with Leon, Nikita and Grosse Pointe Blank... but disagree with Collateral.

Cheers :D

Bobby T Mathew said...

Ok. So Leon number 1? I can see why, but this article was compiled in 2006, a year before Hitman with Timothy Olyphant came out, which should be at least number 2.

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