Monday, June 3, 2013

Hit! (1973)

Director: Sidney J. Furie

Starring: Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, Paul Hampton, Gwen Welles, Warren J. Kemmerling, Janet Brandt, Sid Melton, Zooey Hall, Todd Martin

More info: IMDb

Tagline: To pull off a job no one would ever dare, you need a team no one would ever believe.

Plot: Williams stars as a government operative whose teenage daughter is dating a small time heroin dealer. Her boyfriend gets her to try smack and she dies right away from the drug. Williams goes after the pusher, but prior to punishing him the pusher tells him that he's low man on the totem pole and that his demise won't cripple the city's drug supply at all. Williams figures the pusher was right, so he assembles an unusual squad of people whose lives had been affected negatively by heroin, trains them to kill and sets out to wipe out the large scale heroin cartels.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

At two hours and fifteen minutes long, it's a little slow.  The pacing is casual as it takes an hour for the setup and to assemble the team.  After that it's one long execution of the job and I liked it that way.   HIT! has action but it's little bits and pieces that are spread out so it's more of a crime/drama/thriller first and action picture last but that's not to say it isn't exciting.  Billy Dee Williams is great as the man who puts the plan into action.  It's nice seeing Richard Pryor in a serious role although he does go beyond where you'd think his character would have.  It's also really nice seeing seemingly regular people assassinate their targets.  There's one elderly couple that does the deed with extreme professionalism. Loved it.  HIT!  feels like it's taking some inspiration from THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971), largely because the drug trail leads to France and they're making their way up the chain of people responsible for drugs in America but there are enough differences to make this one stand on its own and proudly.  It's a great companion piece to FC and it kind of makes me want to watch FC again and its sequel.

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