5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Stamp, Hurt, Roth and Frears make this a memorable movie,
This review is from: Criterion Collection: Hit [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Stephen Frears' forgotten movie (it sank without a trace when it was released) has recently, thanks to Criterion, now received some of the recognition and love it deserves.
Willie Parker (Terence Stamp), a career crook, ratted out his mates. In exchange for testifying against them in court he received a new identity and a comfortable retirement in a village in Spain. Still, he knew his former comrades would sooner or later come after him. Ten years later, they do.
Braddock (John Hurt), an emotionless, professional hitman, and his young, excitable apprentice, Myron (Tim Roth), take Willie and set out to drive to Paris and the gang leader he betrayed. A Spanish police officer (Fernando Rey) is after them. Willie seems to accept his fate, but he begins to plant questions in the minds of Braddock and, especially, Myron. Violent incidents happen. It seems likely Willie isn't going to make it alive to the French border. In Madrid they wind up having to take with them Maggie, the girl friend of a fat Aussie crook. Soon Braddock and Maggie are fighting, with Myron trying to protect Maggie. Now Willie seems to have accepted his fate with a serenity that worries Braddock. But it seems that Willie's serenity depends on Braddock. The conclusion to this fine film may be a tad confusing (even the actors aren't sure in the commentary). With a movie this well made, all that means is there'll be good conversation after watching it.
The acting is exceptional. One accepts that with Stamp, Hurt and Roth. In The Hit, even the smallest roles are pungent. Laura del Sol as Maggie is vivid and Bill Hunter as the aging Aussie who pays her bills is funny, unpleasant and pitiable.