glen powell sitting at a table dressed like patrick bateman

Glen Powell’s Take on an Iconic Killer in ‘Hit Man’ Is Perfection

Hit Man is easily one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. Glen Powell’s Gary Johnson is a man who gets way too deep into his “hit man” personas as he is trying to help the police department in New Orleans catch people trying to hire murderers.

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Gary caters his personas to the person he is trying to trap. That means he relates to them, gets them to trust him, and then gets the information he needs to make sure the cops have a case against them. We see a variation of personas in the movie, and one named Tanner really lets Powell channel his inner Matthew McConaughey to let his Texas side out.

The whole collection of them shows Powell’s range as an actor, but one really sticks out to me.

It is really impressive seeing how many “characters” he can play, but there is one that really speaks to me as a person—one that I just love. You can see a bit of him in this promo for the movie that asks, “Which hit man would you date?”

A hit man who says, “You don’t need to know my name,” and tells us to just call him X is your typical Wall Street bro and even explains his preferred method of disposing a body, which is just the “Sigma Suicide” approach, a.k.a. a clean disposal. If you weren’t clued into what impression Powell was doing before, X says that he is “no psycho.”

He’s Patrick Bateman, American Psycho’s own, and as the number one expert on all things American Psycho, I was not prepared for how good Powell was going to be at his Christian Bale impression—which then made me realize that if we are going to revisit this world, I’d let Powell do it.

I believe he needs to return some videotapes

Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho

Patrick Bateman is a beyond fascinating character to me. He is a man who may (or may not) murder people. His wealth makes him numb to the crimes he’s committing (in his mind), and every version of the character is more depraved than the next. The musical version of Patrick has no kind of humanity to him, the movie Patrick slowly loses his sense of reality, and in the book, it is a mix of the two.

There has been talk of revisiting this story. I have a lot of feelings about it, and I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the idea—and then I saw Powell doing a jokey version of Patrick Bateman and it got my wheels turning. The thing is: We can’t do the same Patrick. But a Patrick with the charm of Glen Powell? I’d be way more interested right out of the gate.

I just think that this little moment was a gift for specifically me because I screamed in the theater when I saw how good he was at channeling Christian Bale’s Bateman. So while I may never have my new take on Patrick Bateman with Powell behind it, at least I will always have his take on X in Hit Man.

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.