» » Hitman's Run (1999)

Short summary

A former mob hitman, now in witness protection, is forced to come out of retirement when his family is threatened by his cohorts. He teams up with a skateboarding kid, who has a computer disk that the mob wants to get their hands on that has a list of new names for individuals in the FBI witness protection program. The list includes his dad, who separated from his mother years before and hadn't been seen since.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Brol
    For a low budget action release, this film was a pleasant surprise. Most notably, the script was actually really entertaining...clever in a way films of this type often attempt but rarely achieve. I would love to have seen the picture made by a big studio with the special effects, talented director and leading man that would undoubtedly be part of the package. But, that said, it was still a hoot. Fans of intelligent banter punctuated with occasional gunfire will likely enjoy it as much as I did.
  • comment
    • Author: Lianeni
    I recently purchased this movie as I am an Eric Roberts fan. As usual, he makes the best of whatever character he is playing. But, without his presence, this movie would rank lower than the worst episode of Starsky and Hutch.

    Lots of bullets fly and some stuff just is not to be believed. I mean, we're talking A-Team stuff here at some points. But, at other times, it is not so bad. The kingpin's son reminds me too much of Howie from The Fall Guy to be credible as a real bad guy but what the heck...

    There are bad holes in this but Eric Roberts keeps you watching.


    There's way too many smiles at the end. All the bad guys are dead, the girlfriend's kid just saw people getting brutally killed, but they are all happy and ready to head off to Dairy Queen. And, the computer hacker kid and his long lost father are ready for the father-son picnic now.

    C'mon. With a little work (or brains) this could have been pretty good but at times, it's just stupid.

    As stated earlier, Roberts does a good job and that is the one redeeming thing that makes this worth watching.
  • comment
    • Author: Vetalol
    Well this movie wasn't that good and I usually really like action movies, The shootouts where all right but nothing spectacular, the acting was downright horrible, and the car chases were good if you don't compare them to ones in other films such as Ronin. Overall I woudn't recommend this movie unless you can't find any better movie on the action shelf. The car chases where the only thing stopping me from giving it a 4.

    5 out of 10.
  • comment
    • Author: Marilace
    Although more intelligent than the typical "blow it up and grunt a cocky one-liner before kissing the girl" action flick, Hitman's Run will never win any awards for drama. But hey, let's face it, if you like drama, you are probably not shopping for a movie with a picture on the jacket of a large gun aimed at your face. I really enjoyed this movie and agree with the other comment that the writing was quite good although I felt the direction was a little heavy handed at times. The dialogue was biting and witty, overall plot development was solid without getting in the way of the action, and the characters were as believable as you are going to find in this genre. I would highly recommend this film.
  • comment
    • Author: Axebourne
    An ex-hitman(Eric Roberts)has a few felons, software thieves and hired killers to blow away and at the same time juggle his emotions. Very predictable storyline. Gunfire galore. Bullets do fly and not even one scratches our bad guy turned good. The budget was spent on the ammunition; don't expect much in dialogue. Also appearing are Farrah Forke, C. Thomas Howell and Esteban Powell.
  • comment
    • Author: LoboThommy
    I recently found this in the bargain used shelves at a local store and thought I'd give it a try. I was shocked to see its very low rating here. This isn't a piece of art mind you, but as an entertaining mindless action flick it does well. Its a standard Mark Lester film, nothing flashy, just a tough guy getting mad and killing all the bad guys. It has some great one liners and a great plot, it just doesn't do much with that plot. Eric Roberts has a great, albeit under developed, character in John Dugan. With a better writer I'd give this movie a 8 or 9. Even with its short comings, every action junkie should give this movie a viewing. It was definitely a worthy addition to my action collection.
  • comment
    • Author: Kagalkree
    Hitman's Run has it all - car chases, guns, the mafia and computer hacking. What more could anyone want? Strong performances by Eric Roberts and C. Thomas Howell. Great dialogue. If you are looking for excitement, this is the movie to see.
  • comment
    • Author: Redfury
    Bad acting, poor plot, naff effects very badly created. It's just bad - even for a "TV Movie" which I presume it was... You can see the blood packs through the shirts so you know where the bullets are going to hit, for example. This one should be shown in movie-making school, it's a brilliant example of doing everything wrong.
  • comment
    • Author: superstar
    Boring. Bad action, acting, scripting and direction. I am a fan of Mark L Lester but this 'attempt' at making Eric Roberts into a super hip killer did not work. Brings shame to the whole action genre, and casts a bad shadow on other similarly themed films like 'The Killer'. Boring and embarrassing. See this movie only if you have 90 minutes left to live and want to die miserably.
  • comment
    • Author: Nothing personal
    Former hit-man Tony Lazorka (Roberts) (how do they come up with these names?) is now living as a happily married family man in the suburbs of L.A. He thinks he's far from his past, having worked has a hired killer for mob boss Dominic Catania (Miano), but when yet another "Disk" (as in, "we've got to get The Disk! - which we've all seen so many times before) surfaces that contains other people in the witness protection program, Lazorka must team up with annoying punk kid Brian (Powell) to save his father, and Lazorka's kidnapped family. And what do FBI agents Tom (Howell) and Randall (Huff) have to do with all this intrigue? Will Lazorka be successful? This movie is very, very dumb. That's not necessarily an insult - there are varying degrees of dumb. There's dumb dumb, there's just plain bad dumb, there's funny dumb, etc. Luckily, Hit-man's Run falls into the "yeah, it is very dumb but there are plenty of unintentional (probably) laughs" category...but there are some major caveats here - read on...

    Eric Roberts is definitely a major meathead in this one. His hair, clothing and demeanor are all very silly, and he strongly resembles Antonio Banderas, especially from Assassins (1995). Don't forget, Roberts also plays an assassin here. Why the filmmakers decided to use a dud like Assassins as their template for greatness is somewhat puzzling. During all the blow-ups and shooting, the bad guys constantly have terrible aim and Lazorka's is always right-on. Sure, that's fairly common I suppose, but there are a lot of just hilariously implausible scenarios on show here (again, not necessarily a negative).

    And while C. Thomas Howell looks like a young kid here, this was actually released three years after the great The Sweeper (1996), where he plays a macho tough guy. It really shows his range. This movie could have used more Howell. Brent Huff and Damian Chapa are also on display, and it's nice to see them, as well as fan favorite Robert Miano. Unfortunately, the movie makes a major mistake with the kid. Why, again, would the filmmakers use such poor judgment in thinking any audience any where would like this irritating punk, much less not want to twist his stupid head off like a bottlecap, remains unknown. All he does is spout grating clichés, or, when Lazorka is doing his action stuff, say "Whoa!" and things like that. Sure, the kid from American Ninja 5 (1993) did the same thing, but he was a kid. As an older teen, he has no excuse. We'd love to know what the writers were thinking with this Poochie-like decision. Importantly, he also wears a sleeveless sweater throughout the whole movie. A SLEEVELESS SWEATER. Who even knew they existed? Hit-man's run is fairly cartoony and could have used some grit. Then just dump the kid and have Eric Roberts go on a solo revenge mission to save his family. THEN Hit-man's Run would really have something. But the quality is junky, and the unnecessary addition of the stupid punk kid really sinks things.

    We all love Eric Roberts, and all the other names in the cast as well, and the aforementioned dumbness alone is no big deal, but, married to the addition of the kid, Hit-man's Run might be very trying to the patience of viewers. When the dumbness is the SAVING GRACE of the movie, there's a definite problem.

    For more action insanity, please visit:
  • comment
    • Author: Wen
    Muscular New Jersey hit-man Eric Roberts (as Tony Lazorka) gives up killing people for Los Angeles, the "Witness Protection Program," and a beautiful blonde family. Alas, supposedly 17-year-old computer hacker Esteban Powell (as Brian Segal) uncovers Mr. Roberts' secret, and sells it to vengeful mobster Damian Chapa (as Paolo Catania) and his pals. Very quickly, big guns come out.

    The idea to team Roberts with the "punk kid" was a good one, but it doesn't work in this run; of the two, only Mr. Powell seems to be trying. Federal agent C. Thomas Howell (as Tom Holly) and pretty Farrah Forke (as Sarah) are also adrift. Mr. Chapa and "Godfather" Robert Miano (as Dominic) do well as the criminally-minded. Powell's touch of comedy almost saves the film.

    *** Hit-man's Run (9/3/99) Mark L. Lester ~ Eric Roberts, Esteban Powell, Damian Chapa, C. Thomas Howell
  • comment
    • Author: Xal
    Any serious straight to video fan should definately check this flick out.Damian Chapa(Blood In Blood Out) is the main villain,and he kicks some major ass.I grabbed this movie as soon as I saw his name on the box,he definately deserves more work in higher budget movies.Eric Roberts does a good job as well with a laugh-out-loud script.Don't be afraid,rent it,pop a couple of beers and call it a night.
  • comment
    • Author: Jode
    Violent and obnoxious actioner yarn where a ex - hitman fights to save his wife and children from the vengeance of the Mafia bosses. Certainly, you have seen much of this stuff and probably better, far better. This movie is a strange and almost permanent shotdown between the good guys (only Roberts, in fact) and the bad guys (indeed, almost all the rest of the cast). A great lose of time. In fact, there's a great point here: although the movie is pure trash, Powell gives a good performance. I give this one a 4 (four).
  • comment
    • Author: Kison
    Bad marksmanship does not a good movie make. Shame on "Commando" director Mark L. Lester for producing such a trite potboiler. The Eric Barker & John Olsen script amounts to boilerplate, and the characters are shallow, one-dimensional, ciphers. Some of Barker and Olsen's dialogue sounds clever, primarily for the hacker character. Of course, the armed and dangerous but natty villains cannot hit the side of a barn. Worse, our rugged hero has a problem with hitting the mark, too, especially when he wields an assault rifle within twenty yards of his targets. Everybody complains about this cliché as well as convention in shoot'em up sagas. Often, sloppy marksmanship is the consequence of sloppy scriptwriting. Sometimes, it seems like the whole point of these cacophonous firefights is to depict dudes looking cool as they blast away with weapons. Similarly, the stunts are second-rate. In one scene, you can see that Lester didn't conceal the ramp used to flip a car. The same thing can be said of the blood squibs beneath the shirts of killers. Overall, this low-budget, crime thriller is so predictable that not even the presence of Eric Roberts and C. Thomas Howell can compensate for the sense of déjà vu. The best thing that can be said about Mark L. Lester's helming is that he doesn't let the action bog down in exposition. "Hitman's Run" suffers from a diarrhea spray of clichés.

    A veteran Italian torpedo, Tony Lazorka (Eric Roberts of "The Expendables"), spares the life of a mob accountant, Seymour Penny (Eric Poppick of "Basic Instinct"), that he has known since he was child. They are discussing their dismal predicament under a bridge, imagining that they must be out of sight. Such is not the case. Tony's fellow mobsters are observing him from afar and pondering why he doesn't pull the trigger on Seymour. Tony takes refuge in the Justice Departmant's witness protection program in exchange for his testimony against the Catania Family. Two years later, after Tony has met the love of his life, things go horribly wrong for him. A young, smart aleck hacker, Brian Penny (Esteban Powell of "Powder), who totes around a skateboard, sports earrings, and shoulders a back pack, is searching for his estranged father. As it turns out, Brian's father is none other than the accountant whose life Tony spared. Tony is concerned about the fate of his new found family.

    Meantime, a hot-headed FBI agent Tom Holly (C. Thomas Howell of "Soul Man") struggles to protect Tony's wife and adolescent stepdaughter despite orders from his superior. Naturally, he doesn't succeed. Tony has some bad luck of his own later when he lets his guard down and a mob gunman clobbers him on the back of the head. The FBI is upset because the information that the hacker got has been given to the mob by Brian. Somebody else is in on the information leakage, too. Eventually, Brian learns the identity of his dad. Just when the accountant is set to testify, mobster chieftain Dominic Catania (Robert Miano of "Donnie Brasco") abducts Tony's family and kills the agents protecting Seymour. Meanwhile, Dominic's trigger-happy son Paolo Catania puts a gun to Brian's head to download the rest of the file. Paolo is the kind of mafia guy who can take a slug and survive the shooting long enough to die at the hands of the hero.

    Ironically, "Hitman's Run" boasts a modicum of potential; this appears to be a standard-issue action picture. As a big screen actioneer, Lester might have eliminated most of the clichés and made reasonably entertaining yarn like either "Commando" or "Showdown in Little Tokyo." The hero shares similarities with Arnold Schwarzenegger's brawny hero in "Commando" who sought to save his daughter from the bad guys. The mafia here is presented as a platoon of thick-headed but well-dressed morons. In this film, they have aligned themselves with the CIA. Talk about improbable. "Hitman's Run" qualifies as nothing special.
  • comment
    • Author: Lemana
    Eric Roberts is Tony, a retired mafioso hit-man who finds his new life and family in serious jeopardy after a teenager with access to a list of former made men and their respective new aliases that they got through witness protection in this action film by the usually reliable Mark Lester.

    While this film can't help but pale in comparison to Lester's earlier classic movies, the extremely talented Roberts once again proves he can elevate a rather pedestrian films. The kid sidekick however was another story, as I found him grating on the nerves. The plot is brain dead but with just enough action to make it a serviceable, yet extremely forgettable outing.

    And again in keeping with my connected films/6 degrees motif my next netflix streaming review will be the Mark Lester directed "White Rush"
  • comment
    • Author: Flocton
    Steer well clear of this so-called movie! No acting, the plot is as stupid as you'll ever see, disgustingly violent, sloppy production, the scriptwriter should be put behind bars... Well, you get the idea. "Hitman's Run" could well be the worst piece of (beep) I have ever been forced to watch.
  • comment
    • Author: Diab
    Well, ok, probably one of the worst. Hey, it was on at one o'clock in the morning! It's pretty much your typical witness protection program meets mob hitman on the run meets teenage hacker/slacker meets a missing father.... a nice stew of over-used plots. I happened to like this movie, because the main character (supposedly "Brian" but usually referred to as kid) has some funny one-liners, the Italians are SO stereotyped... if you're having an "awful movie night," this is one to add to the list!!
  • comment
    • Author: Moogugore
    very entertaining. great story. kept me glued with the action and the laughs. a real fun movie to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. definitely worth seeing and i would recommend it to anyone who wants to spend an evening packed with action and good times.
  • comment
    • Author: Oghmaghma
    This is a poor movie and the storyline is totally unbelievable. The action is thick and fast and enjoyable at the start, but becomes all to predictable in the end. Eric Roberts is invincible and never gets shot. The body count is incredibly high. Acting is atrociously bad. There's action but you can get better fare elsewhere.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Eric Roberts Eric Roberts - Tony Lazorka / John Dugan
    Esteban Powell Esteban Powell - Brian Penny
    C. Thomas Howell C. Thomas Howell - Tom Holly
    Farrah Forke Farrah Forke - Sarah
    Damian Chapa Damian Chapa - Paolo Catania
    Lindsay Taylor Lindsay Taylor - Amber (as Lindsey Taylor)
    Eric Poppick Eric Poppick - Seymour Penny / Segal
    Michael D. Roberts Michael D. Roberts - FBI Director Dean Harris
    Brent Huff Brent Huff - Randall Garrett
    Robert Miano Robert Miano - Dominic Catania
    Paul Parducci Paul Parducci - Ronnie
    Lou Casal Lou Casal - Franco
    Zeus Mendoza Zeus Mendoza - Enzo (as Alex Mendoza)
    Cole S. McKay Cole S. McKay - Danny (as Cole McKay)
    Justin Lundin Justin Lundin - Thug in Car #1 (as Justin M. Lundin)
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