Richard Kind plays a hit man on the cusp of an existential crisis in Elias Plagianos’ dramatic short film, Hit Man: Secrets of Lies. Warning: this short is loaded with some of Hollywood’s best character actors.
Based on Lawrence Block’s Hit Man book series, our story opens with assassin J.P. Keller (Richard Kind) with his therapist Jerrold Breen (William Sadler) dancing around the true nature of Keller’s job. After dozens of kills, Keller is not so much bothered by the work but questions some of the collateral damage it causes.
We then move to a small town and Keller’s next target: Ed Vandermeer (Peter Reigert). Ed’s an accountant hiding in witness protection with his wife, Betty (Karen Allen). The hit man’s first move is to get to know the couple at their office copy business to conclusively identify Ed’s true identity. Complications occur as Keller becomes curious about who ordered this man’s assassination.
“…Keller’s next target: Ed…an accountant hiding in witness protection with his wife, Betty…”
I don’t know if Hit Man: Secrets Of Lies is the first chapter of a continuing series, but writer/director Elias Plagianos starts strong with episode one. Known primarily for comedy, Kind is perfect as the affable killer in this dramatic series. As Keller, he shows no emotion, remorse, or guilt about his line of work yet finds a crack in the emotional and psychological wall he’s built over time after discovering an old photo at the town’s thrift store.
It’s hard to find a more solid cast for a short film than in Kind, Sadler, Reigert, and Allen. However, even with a small story like this, the cast does much more than recite lines from a script. The film is essentially an assassin’s procedure. Keller is in town for a job, and his interactions with Ed and Betty become this game of chess where each move reveals more about the secrets Keller and Ed are hiding from one another.
Running at less than nineteen minutes, Hit Man: Secrets Of Lies feels a bit rushed. Honestly, this feeling really stems from wanting more from this stellar cast. I suppose “leave them wanting more” is the operative phrase for this series. I want more.
"…hard to find a more solid cast for a short film than in Kind, Sadler, Reigert, and Allen."