There's something about folks who are willing to kill for money that has always fascinated cinema audiences. It could be the remarkable flexibility of morality that these characters display; their willingness to cross a line that most of us couldn't even consider approaching. Or it could be that they're really cool. Hitman is pretty much up there with footballer and porn star as far as dream jobs go. So, in honour of these murderous movie mainstays, we present you with cinema's 20 greatest hitmen, crack shots every one of them.
20. THE T-800 in THE TERMINATOR
Who is he?
Arnie's T-800 had the potential to do so well in a list of the movies' top hitmen. He was sent from the future and is a bona fide cybernetic bad-ass. So why isn't he higher? Well, despite the quotable lines and the shades, the T-800 couldn't seal the deal. Charged with the simple task of killing an annoying chick, he spends the film's running time being foiled at every turn. True, he was up against a young Michael Biehn, but he was a robot
from the future
and Michael Biehn is armed with nothing more than some primitive weaponry and a flasher mac. C'mon Skynet, you can do better than that.
The Austrian automaton wastes no time in checking out the first two Sarah Connors in the phone book. Pow! Pow!
19. JIMMY 'THE TULIP' in THE WHOLE NINE YARDS
Who is he?
Any hitman who can get a kill by persuading Amanda Peet to whip out her mams may just be the best ever. The reason why Jimmy The Tulip isn't, is the amazing restraint he shows in not giving Chandler a double tap to the back of the head. We really can't put our considerable critical weight behind someone so willing to kill, yet able to pass up such a remarkable opportunity. Anyway, in a movie where the only other highpoint is the aforementioned top bollocks, Bruce charms his way through in a manner in which only he can. Just don't mention the sequel.
After shooting Jimmy in the back, Stanley Posilansky
took a really, really long time to die.
18. MR. KIDD AND MR. WINT in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
Who are they?
Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint, the homosexual hatchet men charged with taking the lead out of 007's pencil in one of the worst Bond films in the series, aren't very good hitmen. However, you have to admire their (perhaps stereotypically) flamboyant approach to their work: why aren't more of cinema's hired killers eschewing guns and knives in favour of dropping a scorpion down a shirt collar? And wearing suits with flared trousers? And not-so-subtly suggesting that they appreciate the man-love? Okay, we answered our own question there.
Drowning an old lady schoolteacher in the canals of Amsterdam, then threatening to send photos of the body to her schoolkids.
17. MICHAEL McMANUS in THE USUAL SUSPECTS
Who is he?
As one of the usual suspects brought in by the cops at the ultimate behest of Keyser Sozé, Michael McManus brings some hitman cool to a group held back by physical disabilities, speech impediments, and Kevin Pollack. Later on, Mikey even proves he's been watching his John Woo movies by taking out two guys with two guns at the same time. Big brother Alec might have been in The Simpsons, but Stephen's involvement in this movie will always mean he's the best Baldwin. Although, it's the strangest thing...
Sniping a target while singing Old MacDonald. "On that farm he shot some guys, badda boom badda bing bang boom..."
16. PAULIE GATTO in THE GODFATHER
Who is he?
Whatever you get up to in life, just make sure that you don't P.O. a Sicilian, as those guys really know how to avenge a slight. First they'll chop the top off an equine and have it delivered to your boudoir. Then a fat bloke will make out with you a little, and finally they'll call in the services of a guy like Paulie Gatto, the tough-talking, meatball-eating button man. Sure, his loyalties are flexible, so there's every chance you might be able to save your bacon by making him an offer he can't refuse. But chances are, even if you go to the mattresses, you'll end up sleeping with the fishes.
His greatest moment would have been setting up Don Corleone for the big checkout, but we all know how that worked out...
Top hitmen 15-11! >>>
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