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Terrence Stamp is a bad ass. Let’s get that out of the way right now. If you’ve seen 'The Limey', you know this.
Sifting through the Criterion section at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago I came across a Stamp film from 1984 called 'The Hit'. Directed by Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liasons, The Grifters, High Fidelity), it tells the story of Willie, a gangster, turned “supergrass” who is hiding out in Spain. His location is given away and he finds himself as the captive of two hitmen that have been tasked with taking him to Paris to stand “trial” for his betrayal. Willie and the hitmen (John Hurt and Tim Roth) then embark on this journey in what turns out to be a most unlikely road movie.
John Hurt plays Braddock, the more experienced of the hitmen and is economical in his speech and in his actions, but when he does either, it is brutal, while Tim Roth plays the “rookie” Myron, who is eager to please Braddock and even more eager to tag his first kill. These two have great chemistry but it’s Stamp that holds the film together with his steely stare and usual understated grace. He plays Willie as a man who is completely ready and unafraid to die. Or is he?
The film was shot in Spain, with beautiful cinematography that only adds to the story. With great pacing from Frears, this movie is the definition of slow burn. There is also a great title track from Eric Clapton and the great jazz guitarist Paco de Lucía provides a fantastic score.
All that being said, see this movie for Terrence Stamp. Zod commands it.