Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Hitman

Author(s): Ross Jensen
Location: Memphis, TN

"The Hitman"

Directed by Christopher Nolan
Written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan
Original Score by James Newton Howard
Cinematography by Wally Pfister

Principal Cast:

Colin Farrell Michael Russo
Paul Giamatti Joe De Luca
Bruce Willis Paul Bruno
Terrence Howard Ricardo White
Scarlett Johannsson Lauren Jacobs
James Franco Tommy Gallardi

Tagline: “Loyalty goes out the window”

Synopsis: From Christopher Nolan, acclaimed director of "Memento" and "The Prestige". Michael Russo(Colin Farrell) is a young hitman for a New York City-based crime syndicate. When he is set up by a confidential informant for the FBI and arrested, he agrees to testify against the group that once employed him in order for him to stay out of prison, leave the mob and marry his girlfriend who has his two month old daughter.. Now, the crime syndicate will stop at nothing to make sure Russo doesn't make the court date. The FBI is doing all they can to ensure he does. Joe DeLuca (Paul Giamatti) is the head of the crime organization. He considered the most dangerous man in New York and if Russo testifies, he would see the death penalty. DeLuca sends his right hand man, a veteran hitman, Paul Bruno (Bruce Willis) to take down Russo at all costs. Adam White (Terrence Howard) is a clean-cut all around good guy working for the FBI. He has a wife and a newborn son. He is given the job of keeping an eye on Russo and keeping him out of sight until the court day. Russo is in love with his girlfriend, Lauren (Scarlett Johannsson) who is a normal civilian not involved with the mob. She is a sweet, educated girl very unlike Russo and Russo feels lucky to have her. She continuously begs Russo to get out of the criminal underworld. But after he is caught by the FBI, he returns home to get her only to finf her and his daughter murdered. Russo, who previously was a low-key young man and conflicted about violating his loyalty to the syndicate and had astrong dislike of Adam White, now was infuriated and intensewith a want for vengance. He starts to fear for Adam as he sees parallels between his life and White's as they both had families with young kids. Russo goes out to talk to his old contacts for info on the identity of his girlfriend's killer. He goes around the city and finds out it was indeed Paul Bruno. But, suddenly he realises he is being followed by Bruno and this starts one of the most exciting edge-of-your seat cat-and-mose pursuits spannng over subways, city buses, and the streets of New York. Russo escapes only to go back to the safe house and find Adam White not there and he immediately realises it was mob members that took White. All the killings Russo had done, it was finally time to do some that were morally right and for justice.

What the press would say:

Christopher Nolan paints an intense, exciting, intriguing, yet sorrowful story of payback. He presents an astounding vision of New York City and brings out the best performaces of some of the actors' careers. Namely being Colin Farrell, who steps into the spotlight and delivers big time. He becomes a dirty street thug in the beginning and by the end he is sympathetic and has us rooting for him. Farrell delivers in a way only hinted at in his work before. Anything you've seen Farrell do before, forget about it, this is his best performance. Then, there's Paul Giamatti who plays a villain. He is so good as a villain and really has fun with the role of mob bossas does Bruce Willis who could be the most menacing character we've seen since Darth Vader in the 1980s. Terrence Howard shines again and is a true good guy in this film. The climax is sure to be one of the more iconic and memorable scenes for some time, and the chase scene is as exciting as they come. "The Hitman" is an exciting masterpice from Christopher Nolan who does everything right in this one as it rivals any crime drama around.

Best Picture
Best Director- Christopher Nolan
Best Actor- Colin Farrell
Best Supporting Actor- Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Actor- Bruce Willis
Best Original Screenplay- Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan
Best Score- James Newton Howard
Best Cinematography- Wally Pfister

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