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The Hit (1984)

1 rating: 5.0
A movie

This memorable drama helped bring British director Stephen Frears back from the limited opportunities of television (where he spent 13 years after making his promising debut feature,Gumshoe) and into the ranks of world-class filmmakers. Driven by the … see full wiki

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1 review about The Hit (1984)

Fantastic film, the model for Transporter

  • Nov 28, 2009
The Hit, 1985, Art House cinema that bridges the gap to popular film. The movie is somewhat slow, but full of drama, careful framing, fantastic editing, and is the role model for movies to follow.

The film opens with Willie Parker, a gangster, rating out his partners in a British court. As he leaves the courtroom, the convicted partners all sing a song about meeting some sunny day. The film then jumps forward to ten years later on a very sunny day, in a very remote town in Spain, where Willie is kidnapped and driven to his death in payment for the rating out. The story is fairly simple; it's the journey that matters.

Criterion has worked their magic on this film. The original gritty, grainy film is so clear in the darker scenes. Bright dusty scenes are crystal clear. The transfer to digital is well near perfect. The sound is fairly flat, no surround sound, and concentrates on dialog with almost no special effects. The DVD includes an approximately 40 minute late 1980's Granada Television interview with Terrence Stamp (Willie Parker). Terrence is acting the whole time, he is slow and deliberate in all his responses. It is a fairly good dessert after watching The Hit.

There is a thread that feels very similar to the original Transporter (The Transporter). The director, Stephen Frears went on to do some amazing films; High Fidelity, Dangerous Laisons, The Grifters, Mrs. Henderson Presents, and the stinker Cheri (Cheri). Tim Roth plays the infantile apprentice hit man Myron, went on to be the lead in Lie To Me, was Pumpkin in the opening before credits scene in Pulp Fiction, The Incredible Hulk, Invincible, Reservoir Dogs, and Bodies Rest and Motion. Terrence Stamp has since appeared in, Smallville, Get Smart, Star Wars Episode 1, and Wall Street to name a few movies. John Hurt plays the hit man sent to pick up Willie. Hurt has a very long history of film acting, stretching back to the Elephant Man, Midnight Express, Contact, and V for Vendetta. Across the board, performances are excellent.

The almost hour and forty minute film is the perfect length. Pacing is excellent. Framing is powerful and outstanding, when a film does this well, it is wonderful to watch. The film is rated R, and is intended for mature audiences. There is a fair amount of strong language. Several people are shot and the end result is pretty graphic. There is no nudity.

An amazing film that likely had a strong influence on later film. Criterion did an excellent job with this film. Well worth watching.

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