Netflix Hit Man
Credit: Netflix

Glen Powell and Netflix have brought a whole new meaning to hit men in their latest movie Hit Man. Based on semi-true events, Powell plays Gary Johnson a psychology-professor-turned-fake-hitman who helps the police arrest those trying to hire him. When he gets involved with one of his “clients” though, Gary begins to ride a thin line between who he’s pretending to be and who he is. I hope you enjoy our Netflix’s Hit Man review.

Check out our Netflix Hit Man review and remember spoilers ahead!

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Hit Man Review – Breaking Down Plot, Setting, Characters


Netflix Hit Man Review: One Wild Ride
Credit: Netflix

Gary Johnson is a psychology professor who likes to go birding and has two cats named “Ego” and “Id.” His life may seem boring to some, but he also works part-time for the police helping out with electronics during hitman sting operations. When the undercover “hit man” gets put on probation, it’s up to Gary to take on the role and get a conviction.

Scared out of his mind, Gary instead learns he has a knack for becoming someone else and continues to don new roles and arrest Perps. But his next target Madison is not what he expects, which leads him down a dangerous road of keeping his fake life as Ron separate from his real life as Gary.

This film was based partly on the true story of Gary Johnson, who helped in over 70 arrests while working as a professor. While some of the details are made up, the basis is real. It’s crazy to think this happened, but it makes for an incredible movie. The best part for me was the constant twists and turns, so you never knew what was happening next and several times I gasped out loud. Like, did that just happen?


Netflix Hit Man Review: One Wild Ride
Credit: Netflix

The setting primarily took place in New Orleans, Louisiana, whether we were in Madison’s house, Gary’s house, the police station, or in court. It felt as if each of these places prompted a different Gary because while he was his normally nerdy self with the police, his other disguises were worn throughout the rest of the settings.

For instance, we see a ginger-freckled Gary at an abandoned factory, a redneck Gary out in a field shooting clay pigeons, and a Russian mobster Gary perusing down a trailer park. These settings and characters influence each other and make for an interesting view of all the places in Louisiana where the “shadier” people may frequent.

My favorite setting was actually the college classroom because we got a front-row seat of the subtle changes happening to Gary as he was influenced by his disguise Ron. Even the students notice it and comment, “when did our professor get hot?”

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Netflix Hit Man Review: One Wild Ride
Credit: Netflix

The characters in Hit Man sell the whole film and the idea of finding the “ideal” hitman for each person. Gary transformed into several characters himself, including Ron, Nico, Tanner, X, and more. It not only shows Powell’s range as an actor but also the range of becoming a different hitman to appeal to the person hiring you.

I loved the banter between the characters, especially since they didn’t censor it. Several movies nowadays are censored to the point of losing part of the humor, but Hit Man kept all of it and more. There were several times I was laughing at character interactions, especially between Gary and his police coworkers.

My favorite characters were Gary and Madison as they went from employer and employee to lovers, trying to navigate a world where neither of them knew the other’s life story. For Gary, it was even harder as everything he said to Madison was a lie because he was acting as Ron. This hurts him towards the end, but the two find a way to bridge the gap and still find each other, even when suspicion surrounds Madison.

Other actors in the film include Adria Arjona as Madison, Austin Amelio as Jasper, Retta as a fellow police officer, and Evan Holtzman as Ray Masters.

Is Netflix Hit Man Based on a True Story?

As mentioned at the beginning of the film, Netflix Hit Man is “a somewhat true story inspired by the life of Gary Johnson.” Gary started as a Vietnam vet, became a professor, and then went undercover with the police racking up over 70 arrests and not killing a single person. He lived from 1947 to 2022.

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Where to Stream Hit Man?

You can stream Hit Man now on Netflix after it was released on May 24, 2024, with a runtime of 1 hour and 55 minutes.

Final Thoughts

Netflix Hit Man definitely earned its 97% Rotten Tomatoes score. I absolutely loved this film, not only because it was a “true” story, but there was plenty of action throughout. Glen Powell did an amazing job playing all of these different characters and taking on the persona of meek Gary who slowly transforms into a more confident version of himself through his portrayal of Ron. I would recommend this film to anyone who likes action movies, true stories, or crime films as there is plenty of all of that in Hit Man.

Hit Man
Netflix Hit Man Review: One Wild Ride
Editor's Rating:


  • Great actor casting
  • Lots of twists and turns
  • Based on a true story


  • A couple fast-paced moments