A Hired Gun: 5 Best Hitman Movies
Although this coming weekend is relatively low on new releases, perhaps the most notable newcomer is the hitman flick John Wick.
Throughout the history of film, there have been plenty of effective (and badass) hitmen. Not that we should ever actually need one, but it’s still fun to conjecture about which hitmen are the best.
Below I’ve created a list in order to hopefully rank Keanu Reeve’s character against when I actually get around to seeing John Wick. Here’s what I came up with:
Although they won’t ultimately be the only duo on my list, I think in this case,two is better than one. In the cult classic The Boondock Saints, Boston brothers Connor (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy (Norman Reedus) prove to not only be badass and effective but extremely entertaining and morals-driven. It still baffles me how poorly The Boondock Saints did critically but there’s a reason this movie still has a huge following.
I’ll admit I didn’t immediately think of Looper when I started compiling a list of the best hitmen and/or assassins. However, I still think Joe (played by the great Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has to be in the conversation simply because of how relentless he turns out to be. Starting out as essentially an ordinary Joe, he morphs into a much greater character that ultimately has to make some tough decisions. Rian Johnson’s (Brick) Looper works because of how unconventional it is, so I think it works here as an unconventional pick.
It’s hard to think of hitmen and leave someone as iconic as Jason Bourne off the list. It gets a little hairy whether someone like James Bond counts (which I ultimately discarded from my list) but I think Jason Bourne still fits the definition because of the details we eventually find out about his past. Whether it is from the beginning of The Bourne Identity or at the peak of his badassery in The Bourne Ultimatum, he is one of the most resourceful hitmen we have to choose from. If resourceful isn’t the right word, perhaps combative is.
Like The Boondock Saints, two can definitely be better than one. Unlike other movies on this list (or perhaps any movie in general), this duo could be the flat-out funnest to watch. If you haven’t figured it out, I’m talking about Vincent Vaga (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) from Quentin Tarantion’s best film, Pulp Fiction. I can’t believe this movie turned twenty years old this past week, but I can believe just how memorable these two characters (and really the rest of them) still are today.
“Cold-blooded” should be a word associated with virtually any hitman. Up to this point, I don’t think any of the choices come close to the ruthless Anton Chigurh from the Coen Brothers’ (The Big Lebowski) No Country For Old Men adaptation. I do have a bias towards Javier Bardem’s performance but I think that compliment goes hand-in-hand with the character’s effectiveness. Without Chigurh, this movie simply doesn’t work. However, without Chigurh, plenty of people wouldn’t have lost sleep at night either. Outside of perhaps The Joker in The Dark Knight, Chigurh is one of the scariest characters to grace the big screen.
Which other hitmen should be in the conversation? Sound off below!
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