Alex (William Macy) needs to see a therapist. He is a hit man and wants to give up his job. The problem is this is a family business, although we are never told if this is part of the Mafia or a private business- the latter, I think. Anyway, in the waiting room, Alex runs into this beautiful young thing played by Never Campbell, and they start talking. What is Alex to do? His wife thinks he runs a mail order business and what he really does is kill people. Neve Campbell's character is someone who knows nothing, an innocent young thing, just what he needs.
Alex tells the therapist about his job and his therapist (John Ritter) is upfront. If Alex tells him about a forthcoming job he will have to report it, otherwise he is protected by doctor/patient confidentiality. Alex's father is played by Donald Sutherland, and a more cold blooded man would be hard to find. We see in flashbacks how Alex was trained by his old man and his first job as that of a killer.
"Panic" is one of those movies that grab you. It is well written, the actors are marvelous and just right for their parts. I had never heard of it. It is a quiet movie that seems to have come and gone. Daniel Dorfman is Alex's son, Sammy. What a fabulous young actor he is. We realize that Alex needs to save his son, so that the next generation, Sammy, that is, will not have to become a killer. A scene that is so telling is one of Gram and Grampa browbeating Sammy. We understand how Alex became the hit man, the murderer, the killer, the confused, mixed up man he is.
Alex makes a decision to quit this job. He will confront his father and put a stop to this horrible business. And why does Alex have to support his mother and father through this killing business? It is lucrative enough, so that dad tells Alex he will buy his wife a new Lexus and a vacation after the job is done. Just what kind of family is this? How did Alex such a wonderful man with a conscience, it seems, come to this family? What genetic characteristic is going to help him be finished, kaput, done, fini with the killing job? A great, great movie with a message and with a fabulous cast. Highly recommended- go find it now and rent it and watch it immediately! prisrob