Hit Man Theater Triumph Hindered by Netflix’s Dominance

Hit Man Theater Triumph: When the Netflix logo graced the New York Film Festival screening of “Hit Man,” a wave of disapproval swept through the audience. Richard Linklater’s uproarious assassin comedy had already captured attention on the festival circuit, poised to be a major success of the year. Vanity Fair touted Glen Powell, the film’s star and also featured in “Anyone But You,” as the next great Movie Star. AwardsWatch hailed “Hit Man” as not only the hidden gem at Venice but one of the best films of 2023. Inverse echoed the sentiment, praising the film’s “crackling chemistry” and its penchant for delightful silliness.

Inspired by a 2001 Texas Monthly article, “Hit Man” takes an absurd premise from real life – a college professor posing as a hitman for the police – and adds a sexy twist: what if the professor fell in love with one of his “clients”? Adria Arjona’s immediate and electric dynamic with Glen Powell transforms the film into a zany comedy-of-errors-meets-grifter rom-com, offering laughter, steaminess, and showcasing Powell as a big-screen star. Despite the acclaim, the disappointing news is that “Hit Man” won’t experience the unexpected big-screen success enjoyed by “Anyone But You.”

After its North American premiere at TIFF, Netflix acquired “Hit Man” for distribution. While Netflix was once seen as a golden ticket for smaller films, it now poses challenges. The binge-watching model popularized by Netflix, while convenient, has transformed everything into mere “content.” This shift impacts filmmakers seeking lasting recognition beyond the initial buzz a Netflix release generates.

“Hit Man” stands out as one of Linklater’s best films, a surefire crowdpleaser designed for the theater experience. The communal gasps, giggles, and cheers shared during festival screenings attest to its appeal. However, Netflix’s involvement has cast a shadow on its potential theatrical success. The film’s ideal setting is a crowded theater, where the audience can collectively react to Powell’s charming and moronic antics. Without the Netflix logo looming, “Hit Man” could have been a triumphant return of movies to theaters, generating headlines like “The Movies Are Back! Theaters Are Saved (Again)!”

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While Netflix plans a limited theatrical release before the streaming debut, recent films’ experiences suggest this might not be enough to reach broader audiences. Linklater, no stranger to Netflix, faced challenges with his animated film “Apollo 10 1⁄2: A Space Age Childhood.” Despite Linklater’s widespread appeal with films like “School of Rock” and the “Before” trilogy, Netflix’s treatment of his animated project raises concerns for “Hit Man.”

Does a Netflix release consign “Hit Man” to obscurity? Not necessarily, but it does curtail its potential box office success. Perhaps Netflix could reconsider, opting for an “only in theaters” release to allow “Hit Man” the chance to shine beyond the confines of streaming.

FAQ About Hit Man Theater Triumph

Where can I watch Hitman 2023?

Premiering at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on September 5, 2023, “Hit Man” is slated for a Netflix release on June 7, 2024.

What is the latest Hitman movie?

Hit Man,” a 2023 American action comedy film, co-produced and directed by Richard Linklater, features Glen Powell and Adria Arjona. The screenplay is based on Skip Hollandsworth’s 2001 Texas Monthly magazine article.

What is Richard Linklater famous for?

Richard Linklater, born July 30, 1960, in Houston, Texas, is an American filmmaker recognized for unique, self-taught directorial style, notably in films like “Everybody Wants Some!!”.

How old is Glenn Powell?

35 years old 21 October 1988

Who is Glenn Powell’s dad?

Glen Powell, Jr., born to executive coach Glen Powell Sr. and homemaker Cyndy, graduated from Westwood High School in 2007. He played football and lacrosse, later attending the University of Texas at Austin.

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