Hit Man/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Hit Man

Just to quickly get this out of the way, Hit Man is a remake of Get Carter. And if you're too lazy to click the link to see what the story's about, all you need to know is that Tyrone Tackett (Bernie Casey) is out to uncover the truth of his deceased brother. The cause of death is ruled as a DUI suicide, but since Tyrone knows that his brother was involved with shady characters, he senses foul play. In the course of the investigation, Tyrone will have very few allies and even less trustworthy sources on who was responsible for the death. Among the suspects are syndicate leader, Nano Zito (Don Diamond) and pornographer, Theotis Oliver (Ed Cambridge).


Even if you're familiar with Get Carter (Which in turn was based on the novel, "Jack's Return Home") Hit Man tends to be quite complicated on trying to keep track of the many characters that Tyrone runs into in this Los Angeles maze of The Underworld. It took me, at least, three viewings to try to pin-point all the names that get mentioned (Swift, Murray, Zito, Huey, Oliver, Shag) and then to correctly match who was who! So since it may take a few viewings to fully absorb everything that gets presented in George Armitage's fairly loaded script, this will likely mean that you're bound to get lost even if you've seen Get Carter before. You might think, "Well, this movie's called HIT MAN! The action should solve everything, right?" But even that's not the case! For starters, Tyrone Tackett really doesn't get to do a whole lot of "Hitting" in this movie. He definetly gets to hit on a lot of the ladies though, that's for sure! That particular hit list involves Pam Grier (Playing a porn star), Lisa Moore (Playing a hotel clerk) and Mariyln Joi (Playing Tyrone's girlfriend...Billed as Tracy King, by the way).


What Hit Man mostly has going for it is the commendable performance by Bernie Casey. His stylish speech pattern (Often mirroring Max Julien from The Mack at times!) really helps match the smooth intensity he displays in the role. His character also has the most wildest-looking wardrobes I've seen this side of Willie Dynamite. But since there is no clear, central villain for the audience to focus on, we're left stuck with getting the enjoyment out of some of the minor characters who, thankfully, provide some of the film's more memorable moments. As previously mentioned, the female characters certainly stand out with what limited time they have (Any sight of miss Pam Grier in her nude glory will always tend to have you thinking that you're watching a classic!) Sam Laws also gives the movie a much-needed boost to serve as the comic-relief. It's just too bad that his character vanishes from the 3rd act of the movie. Other good ingredients include a decently funky musical score by H.B. Barnum and the slick opening credits is one of the more memorable I've seen in the genre. Though Hit Man lacks the nihilism and darkness compared to Get Carter (Especially with it's different ending) it has the looseness and flair that many fans always love in seeing in blaxploitation films. At least watch it just so you can admit not ever being confused the first time around.

Reviewed by Laydback

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