x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

The Hit List

This thriller starring Cuba Gooding Jr lacks the ability to deliver on the promise of the storyline.

Director: William Kaufman
Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr, Cole Hauser, Jonathan LePaglia
** 

Picture the scene: Allan Campbell (Cole Hauser) has had a bad day. And when I say bad, I mean diabolical (and also rather plot-convenient): he's been overlooked for a promotion that was all but in the bag, is sporting a shiner of a black eye courtesy of a small-time criminal and, to cap it all off, has just discovered that the relationship between his wife and best friend is rather too close for comfort.

Anyway, after a stinker of a 24 hours he finds himself pouring out his troubles to Jonas, a mysterious stranger (played by a disappointing Cuba Gooding Jr), who later confesses to being a contract killer.

As the night progresses, he offers to dispose of those individuals that have wronged Allan (all in the name of friendship, you understand). There's something unsettling about what happens next: the character we're ultimately supposed to root for scribbles five names down. Even if he does think that Jonas's offer is a macabre joke, it's rather twisted actually to put pen to paper.

Jonas, however isn't kidding around and wastes no time in getting to work on that hit list. As the body count starts to rise, apathetic Allan must take affirmative action to save his wife's life. While the concept of the film has promise, in actuality it doesn't deliver. The characters are one-dimensional, the script is contrived and the action scenes feel amateurish. The Hit List may have echoes of Collateral, but it certainly doesn't deliver on the same level.