Hitmen Image


By Bobby LePire | April 13, 2023

British independent filmmaker Savvas D. Michael loves his gangster flicks. The Bezonians, Original Gangster, and Righteous Villains all use the tropes associated with action crime narratives while spinning out original yarns. With Hitmen, the writer-director does not venture far from his inspirations or roots, though his ambition has undoubtedly grown. So is this a case of Michael biting off more than he can chew, or has his abilities grown with each title he’s made?

Lauren (Lois Brabin-Platt) and her husband, Luke (Daniel Caltagirone), are at a crossroads in their 10-year relationship. She finds that things have gotten stale, and she’s not the same person she was back then. So, now Lauren is asking Luke for a divorce. Just then, a cocky American enters the conversation and can’t take a hint. So, Luke and Lauren make the fool pay by beating him to death. This doesn’t sit well with that American idiot’s grandpa, Michael (Eric Roberts), who uses his connections and wealth to take out a massive contract on their lives.

This contract is so lucrative that it gets the attention of all the heavy hitters worldwide. The assassins include The Reaper (Georges St-Pierre); Francesca (Ivana Radjenovic), Fabianna (Chelsea Leigh Macleod), and Florence Ferizi (Mei Bignall); and Justin (Lucas Aurelio), among many others. Justin may prove to be the lovebirds’ ace in the hole, as his role motives are not the same as the other hired killers’ though that doesn’t mean Lauren and Luke are safe. Intercut with all the mayhem are flashbacks detailing Lauren and Luke’s odyssey together.

“…uses his connections and wealth to take out a massive contract on their lives.”

Hitmen utilizes all the familiar tropes associated with British gangster flicks. There’s the disembodied narrator, flashy on-screen text intros, glib one-liners, and non-linear storytelling. A few more are also present, but diving into those would spoil a lot. The thing is, Michael (the filmmaker, not Eric Roberts’ character) makes it all work in a big, fun splashy way. He handles the various tones splendidly — the romance between Lauren and Luke works remarkably well — while keeping the action frenzied, though never too bloody.

Roberts hasn’t been this engaged with the material in a long time. He brings a certain class to the pissed-off grandpa. Brabin-Platt is stunning as the violent but loving Lauren. Her chemistry with Caltagirone is perfect, as their respective characters are obviously swooning over each other the entire time. St-Pierre is threatening, while Aurelio is a real treat to watch (again, no spoilers, so that’s enough on that).

But what makes Hitmen special is the action. There’s a clever bit on a horse on a beach that is funny and savage. The beatdown that ignites everything is hard-hitting and exciting. A close call with a sniper is wildly entertaining. Each assassin gets one moment to shine and show off some cool moves.

Hitmen does not revolutionize its genre, nor is it aiming to. However, for folks sick of the gangster picture, Michael may not incite them to sit down and watch this. However, for everyone else, the filmmaker offers a great cast, a beautiful ending, funny dialogue, and a true romance that genuinely pulls at the heartstrings.

Hitmen (2023)

Directed and Written: Savvas D. Michael

Starring: Lois Brabin-Platt, Daniel Caltagirone, Eric Roberts, Georges St-Pierre, Ivana Radjenovic, Chelsea Leigh Macleod, Mei Bignall, Lucas Aurelio, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Hitmen Image

"…wildly entertaining."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon