Sometimes the mere presence of a hitman in a movie can change the entire course of the film no matter if they’re prominent or not. In a couple of these movies the hitman isn’t the main character or even someone that pops up all the time, but they tend to be the unseen force that kind of drives the action in a way by creating a chain of events that the movie has to follow to a logical conclusion. That being said, a hitman is typically the kind of character that isn’t out to be a known character in a movie, and in the 80s a few movies made that point quite clear since assassin’s tend to work better when they can become anyone and everyone without drawing too much attention to themselves. This allows them to be much more proficient at their task and in doing so allows them to slip away unnoticed when the job is done.
Here are a few of the best hitman movies from the 80s.
5.Weekend at Bernie’s
The hitman in this movie is really more of a goof than a professional since while he does get the job done he doesn’t seem to think that he did when he sees Bernie hanging out in his pad and with a couple of guys that he intended to frame for his crimes. The weekend goes along in a way you could only describe as odd since the two in question find ways to make it seem as though Bernie is alive and well, perhaps just a bit drunk and yet still able to enjoy himself. Of course the hitman thinks that Bernie is toying with him somehow, something that could only happen in a movie this goofy. Thankfully it was pretty funny though.
4. Best Seller
It’s not often that a professional assassin would actually want attention for the things they’ve done, but Cleve seems to need to get a few things straight about his story and as a result gets Meechum to start writing. Of course it doesn’t help that eventually Meechum comes to find out that Cleve is one of the robbers that got away from him years before. But as the movie continues and Meechum’s daughter is kidnapped, it’s Cleve who ends up coming to the rescue and taking a bullet for Meechum’s daughter, thereby redeeming himself in a big way as Meechum does go on to write his story.
The hitman in this movie is almost an afterthought since honestly he’s there as a different part of the plot that has almost nothing to do with the brothers until they run afoul of him by stealing the wrong car. Once they do get on his radar however things start to heat up since the hitman is the kind of guy that doesn’t really care about collateral damage or the fact that someone just made a mistake. He wanted to get paid, and he wanted to eliminate anyone that was in on the deal that almost went sour for him. This includes the two brothers, though at some point they outsmart him and drop a heaping pile of chain onto his head.
2. The Killer
Chow Yun-fat seems to play a hitman with a heart quite well since in this movie he’s an assassin looking to get out but gets caught up with a young singer after the muzzle flash from one of his guns damages her eyesight. In an effort to do right by her he takes on a final job but soon finds out that his employers mean to doublecross him, as seems common in such movies. When he escapes and begins a personal war with them he has to evade two police officers as well, though in the end he ends up dying of two serious wounds while his enemies are finally laid to rest. A hitman with a conscience doesn’t seem to make it to the credits in every movie.
1. Prizzi’s Honor
A tangled web of love and the life of a hitman don’t always seem to go hand in hand, unless that hand has a gun in it that’s been wrestled over. Charley and Irene do make a pretty impressive couple since they’re both assassins and know what they’re doing. But unfortunately Irene is the type that wants to get paid and do her own thing but not pay back what she owes to those above her. This puts her in ill favor obviously and eventually it’s Charley’s responsibility to deal with her. The loyalty of a hitman after all comes down to two things, who’s going to pay the most and who’s going to guarantee not to doublecross them. When those two things are taken care of everything else seems to fall into place.
It’s a hard life no doubt.
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