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THE HIT LIST

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THE HIT LIST Jeff Fahey, Yancy Butler (1993, Columbia TriStar, R, $94.95) This modern-day film noir has all the classic elements of the genre: a taciturn hero, a duplicitous femme fatale, and an edgy underworld of dirty deals and easy, casual murder. Yet it’s an original with a gnawing edge and an erotic bite. Fahey plays a former government assassin-turned- hit man (who likes to play Chopin after a job) unwisely involved with a client (Butler) who has hired him to avenge her husband’s death. The complicated plotting keeps you guessing to the bitter, shocking end, and the film’s nihilism is well-earned. Director William Webb creates a Kafkaesque atmosphere of mistrust and unknowingness-and a dark work lengths ahead of today’s studio pap. A-

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