Look At Our Facebook Page Look At Our Twitter Page Buy Our Books On Amazon Buy Our Books On Our Paypal Shop

Murder Slim Review: HIT ME

Murder Slim Press's Reviews Murder Slim Press's Literary Film Reviews Hit Me Murder Slim's Reviews A to Z Murder Slim Press's Charles Bukowski and John Fante Reviews Murder Slim's Book Reviews Murder Slim Press's Outsiders Film Reviews Murder Slim's Crime and Sleaze Reviews Return to MurderSlim.com

Based on Jim Thompson's A SWELL LOOKING BABE, HIT ME is about a bellhop - Sonny - getting involved in a scheme to steal $500,000 from high-end, illegal poker players. The swell looking babe is a French girl, Monique, and Sonny thinks his share of the money will allow him to start a new life with her. That isn't going to come easily. Monique is unreliable, hooked up with the criminals, and has suicidal tendencies. Hell, the path of love never does run smooth, does it?

As in the book, Sonny is an interesting character, fuelled by three fucked-up elements - his love of Monique, his hatred of his job, and his refusal to accept help to care for his retarded adult brother, Leroy. Sonny is over his head in it all, and once the heist goes pear-shaped, he's frantically scraping around to try a make it clear with the gal, the money and Leroy.

Elias Kotsas (who also features in 2010's superior Thompson adaptation THE KILLER INSIDE ME) does a decent job playing Sonny. He looks a lot like Robert De Niro and effectively gets across one of De Niro's big skills - playing desperate psychosis. At times this can veer into comedy, and it's unclear whether this is always intentional. Kotsas acts emotions very physically - mock-humping the air before he goes into Monique's room and pepping himself up by jumping through four different positions before meeting the main poker player. After a while this does become trying, but the character is interesting enough to stay around for.

As in Thompson's novels, HIT ME presents a world where no character can be trusted. Even the "good guy" - Sonny - is as shady and money grabbing as the rest, at one stage happily considering becoming a cocaine dealer. It's film noir taken to its limits... not in terms of visual style but in terms of characterisation.

Stacked up against the beautiful economy of Mamet's HEIST or Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS, HIT ME does drag a little and doesn't have quite enough twists and turns to merit lasting over two hours. And, whilst shot very cleanly and effectively, it lacks a big cinematic impact. However, there's a nice undercurrent of philosophising over the nature of survival, summed up well in Sonny's final scene with Leroy. So, whether you're a Thompson fan or not, you could do much worse than checking out this interesting little movie.

Review by Steve Hussy