Hitman (1991) – Chuck Norris ACTION MOVIE REVIEW

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By Geno McGahee

I remember a time when most guys were sporting a mullet and, believe it or not, some of them got laid. It wasn’t frowned upon like it is nowadays. People have come to their senses and have realized that the mullet is not really cool, but back in 1991, it was still the tits. It was so much the tits that when people saw the poster for the film HITMAN, everyone was really excited to see some great action and didn’t even notice the huge mullet that Chuck Norris was sporting. Man, what a mullet.

Grogan (Chuck Norris) is a good cop, without a mullet, but with a bad 70’s porn mustache. His good friend and partner, Del (Michael Parks), are scouting out this warehouse for criminal acts and everything seems to be clear. Then Del starts talking about his dick and makes the note that he is “So horny” that he could “fuck mud.” I wonder how many people fucked mud after they saw this movie. It sounds rather inconsiderate to me. An earthworm getting a face bath would ruin its life.

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Some activity happens and Grogan runs over to see what’s up as Del stays at the car and wonders what the fuck is partner is doing. This is where we get some of the strange writing really creeping in. Well, I guess the “fucking mud” thing was the real start. Anyway, Grogan beats this guy’s ass and then throws him down and says “Welcome to my world.” What is he talking about? The line makes no sense. Freddy Krueger saying it makes sense. He is in the dream world. Grogan lives in the same world that we all do and it is not fair for him to claim it as his own. He does not have the authority to welcome anyone, UNLESS the guy he beat the fuck out of was an extraterrestrial. Then, good going Grogan.

As Grogan kicks ass, a mystery man with a silencer is going around killing random bad guys, starting with some poor guy in a Canadian tuxedo. I know that using the term “Canadian tuxedo” to describe a guy in all denim is probably insensitive or not PC, but I’ve been saying it so long that it feels wrong to stop, and by not calling him that, am I offending the denim enthusiasts out there? Show me where the fucking line is people. Jeez.

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Remarkably, Del is the guy killing all the bad guys and then turns on Grogan, noting to his bad guy friend that “He was a good cop. So good, he didn’t see me turning dirty.” Now, this is more of that writing. I found it very strange that Del made that statement and if Grogan was a good cop, why didn’t he notice that Del was acting strange and perhaps turning dirty? To the film’s credit, what they lacked in witty dialogue, they made up for in excessive action and death sequences. When Del shoots Grogan, he flies out the window and lands on a station wagon. That’s a lot of broken glass. First the huge window and then all the windows on the station wagon. I gotta give them props there.

I also want to give them props on another line that was out of place, but very amusing. Del notes that “obviously, somebody fucked the dog.” I’ve never heard that expression before. Is it really based on somebody fucked the dog? Did he mean it literally? I want to use that line. I’m going to. The next time I get pulled over by the cops for speeding, I’ll say “obviously, somebody fucked the dog” and then I’ll tell him that “I’m so horny, I could fuck mud.” We’ll see how it goes.

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Grogan proved hard to kill and time passes by. He has now accepted a role undercover, working as the hitman for a top Italian mob boss, Marco (Al Waxman). They have a friendly relationship and when Marco is ready to take a break, he puts Grogan in charge, much to the dismay of Sal (James Purcell). Grogan kills Sal and now there is no question as to who is running the show. Teaming up with Marco’s two stupid goons, it’s business as usual, until the group is ambushed and Nino (Bruno Gerussi) gets shot up really good. Some more strange writing here coming up. When Nino is found on death’s door, he tells his fellow good and friend that he got a “belly ache.” What adult uses the term “belly ache”? Fucking strange.

It turns out that an Iranian gang and French gang are moving in on the territory and now there is going to be a huge gang war. Grogan tries to team up the Italian gang with the French, but it’s a no go and we learn that every bad guy in this film is rather racist. Lacombe (Marcel Sabourin), the boss of the French group, calls Marco a garlic-breathed pig and keeps on harping on his ethnicity, but Marco is no better. When Lacombe refuses to work with Grogan, he makes some comment that he will piss on his grave. Grogan beats up a henchman for Lacombe and then notes that “it may be your handwriting, but it’ll have to be his dick.” Now, if you’re dead, do you really care if the guy pissing on your grave is holding his dick or having somebody else hold his dick?

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As all this goes on, Grogan befriends a young boy. Tim (Salim Grant) is about 12 or so and he is mostly alone because his mother works a lot of hours. Grogan takes him under his wing and begins calling him “tiger”. Now this movie was made before all that priest-Boyscout leader stuff and nobody really batted an eye when Grogan took the young boy into his apartment. Imagine today though. “Your young son is with some 40 year old guy and he has a mullet!” That would terrify any parent.

On top of having no parent around, Tim has to deal with bullies, but that’s going to stop. Grogan begins teaching him how to fight and the next time he is bullied, he’s going to be ready to fight. Remarkably, he’s not just up against some other 12 year old kid. The bully has a super racist dad that watches on as his son bullies minorities. When his son starts pushing Tim, he yells from his doorway: “Skin that coon shit.” When Tim wins the fight, the father storms over and starts beating up his son, screaming “what the hell’s the matter with you huh? Ain’t you learned nothing.” Very over the top racist character. They really wanted to bring it home. When Grogan goes to see this guy, he drops the N word of all things. Didn’t they push the envelope far enough? In HITMAN, it’s all about excess…so I guess not.

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As Grogan gets these gangs in order, Del shows up and just so happens to be involved with the gangs. Now Grogan’s goose is cooked. When he comes back to his apartment, Grogan is sitting nonchalantly with Tim duct-taped to a chair. Del proposes a deal where Grogan and the boy can live if he leaves town. Grogan agrees, sort of, but when he tries to rescue Tim, Del blows up the apartment to hell and says “ride’em cowboy,” another strange line in this very odd action film. What did he mean by that?

Tim survives and Grogan was still hard to kill. Unfortunately, Tim is really burnt up and now it’s payback time as Grogan goes after all the bad guys. They make it easy on him though because before he gets there, Del turns on Marco, yelling “hey, fat fuck” before shooting him. Fat shaming racist bastard.

It comes down to a one on one showdown between Del and Grogan. Guess who wins! To the great credit of this film, they killed Del in a great way. Grogan duct-tapes him to a chair, hangs him a hundred feet in the air and then blows him up, sending his body parts all over the tops of the cop cars. Now that’s a way to end this film. When Grogan’s boss screams “we wanted him alive,” Grogan responds with “ain’t life a bitch?” They had zero wit with the writing here. They should have thought about these lines and maybe go through a couple more drafts.

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HITMAN was desperately trying to hold on to an action style (which is the best action style) but it lacked in certain areas. The biggest issue is the screenplay to this film. Everything else was quite good. The acting, especially by Michael Parks was very entertaining and the execution of the film and overall feel of it was awesome. This felt like one of those 80s Bronson films but it just missed the mark in a few areas.

I highly recommend HITMAN. Chuck Norris one of the best action stars of all time and he brings it here, despite the mullet. There are plenty of bad guys and bloodshed and there was a genuine attempt to make witty comments throughout but they just didn’t try hard enough. Check this one out or go fuck mud.

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Rating: 7.5/10