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For a guy like Glen Powell, becoming a movie star isn’t really a question. It’s more of an inevitability.

Blessed with that square jaw, those bright green eyes, a mop of dark blond hair and a symmetrical smile that would be suspect if it weren’t so damn charming, he’s a Disney prince before they all became villains. And he has the kind of effortless, high-octane charisma that will guarantee him a career beyond soap operas and crime series, the usual refuge for ridiculously good-looking people. Powell, you think, has something going on behind his eyes.

What I’m saying is that a willingness to suspend disbelief is a prerequisite for “Hit Man,” a moderately entertaining action-comedy-romance about a fake assassin from filmmaker Richard Linklater, who co-wrote the screenplay with Powell. The film was in theaters briefly before hitting Netflix on Friday.

Despite being based on a “semi-true story,” this movie requires its audience to think that the characters in this film think Powell’s face is boring and forgettable. It has everything to do with his character, Gary Johnson, a philosophy professor in New Orleans who lives a quiet, lonely life in the suburbs, taking care of his two cats, birdwatching, tinkering with electronic devices, and helping the local police install surveillance devices for covert operations. He drives a Honda Civic and wears ill-fitting polo shirts, knee-length denim shorts, and socks with his semi-orthopedic sandals. And of course, like many dressed-up hot guys before him, he wears wire-rimmed glasses. Why he dresses like your middle-aged uncle in 1992 is a mystery. Were he in Bushwick, it might not even look odd. But this is a movie, and we know Gary is destined to thrive.

Not that Hit Man has any fun with the makeover aspect. No, once plain old Gary is thrown into this amateurish undercover work (by Retta and Sanjay Rao), all we see is the final look he wears to meet all the people who want to hire a hitman. He delves into theatrics for these occasions, wearing wigs, makeup, accents and fake tattoos in his attempt to be what he thinks every single person wants in a hitman, which is mildly amusing.

But aside from a brief snippet of him watching a YouTube tutorial on wigs and makeup, his transformations aren’t really explored. There’s no shopping montage, no Harvey Fierstein-esque character to help him navigate the college’s theater department’s costume room, and no obvious budget concerns or discussions, which seems odd for a guy who’s only doing this undercover stuff for extra pay. In a movie that might have a better engine, questions like these might evaporate with the laughter and delight of a pretty silly premise. Hit Man doesn’t quite have that, though. Again, that suspension of disbelief is necessary.

Things pick up speed when the girl Madison (Adria Arjona, great, though terribly underdeveloped) shows up, an unhappy wife who wants to get rid of her cruel husband. Gary meets her as “Ron,” who acts and dresses like the lead of an action movie or a cocky movie star in his spare time, with well-fitting jeans and tight Henleys and cool jackets that show off his inexplicably muscular body.

And he treats Madison differently than the many other characters he’s put behind bars, whose stupidity, trashiness and ugliness are all played up for wacky comedic effect. She, he decides, doesn’t really want this – a mercy he shows no one else. He talks her out of hiring him to kill the bad husband, whom she promptly leaves without incident before moving into a nice house and beginning a torrid romance with Ron.

Once again, the question arises as to how this woman, whose husband wouldn’t let her work and who was so afraid of him that she was willing to hire a hitman, was able to escape so easily. But, you know, good for her and good for us, because the chemistry between her and Powell is electric and sultry, on a par with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight.

But the honeymoon doesn’t last long, and things soon get dicey as Ron becomes Gary’s dominant figure. It all leads to a pretty tense third act with the introduction of an actual murder and the possibility of being exposed by an increasingly suspicious and corrupt cop (played to slimy perfection by Austin Amelio). And you can’t help but feel that it needed something else: a bigger twist, a more delicate conflict, a little more stakes.

Hit Man was a film that received some breathless praise at the fall film festivals, which may be to its detriment. It’s entertaining enough: a brilliant, easily digestible Powell performance that tries to be nothing but fun. But it’s not the return of the action-comedy-romance.

“Hit Man,” a Netflix release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association for “language throughout, sexual content and some violence.” Running time: 115 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.

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