“The Hit List”, as a conceptual thriller, introduces the ideal of a reverse “Collateral” where the assassin, tired of his rigamarole, decides to take a down-on-his-luck schlub and attone against people for his sins. Cuba Gooding Jr. as the hitman has that darkness and yet a sense of intelligence down pat. While his selections of the past couple years reflect a lack of great roles that reflect his interests, the idea of these types of people obviously fascinates him.
Cole Hauser, who most remember from the Vin Diesel sci-fi picture “Pitch Black”, plays Allan who has been continually passed over for promotion as well as cheated on by his wife because he has no will or drive of his own to speak of. Life hasn’t treated him badly. He simply has not taken advantage of it despite his lofty ambitions. While people begin dying close to him as a result of the erstwhile killer Jonas, it creates the necessity of him to take action. There are glaring plot holes and functions in logic but playing to this notion of a genre film within a made-for-a-price formula, the personalities are allowed a bit of leniency in their approach for their crimes. While the central car chase of the film offers a stunning bit of stunt work with the flipping of a police car, the rest of the film fails to live up to the cinematic structure of that (which is played tongue-in-cheek directly after its occurrence). The final storming of a police station (not unlike “The Terminator”) has been seen in films before and the reveal of the assassin’s real identity does not provide any awe.
No extras placate the disc and the trailers promote the element of Stage 6 which is Sony Home Entertainment’s low-budget genre division which, considering its straight-to-dvd sequels such as “Sniper: Reloaded” and “SWAT: Firefight” promoted here, understands the necessities of its audience. That said, out of 5, I give “The Hit List” a 2.