4 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 84 minutes
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This organized crime mockumentary, in the Spinal Tap/Guffman mode, tracks the downward spiral of the once proud Pascanelli family.

The Pascanellis, who brag of being “the first family to introduce cocaine to Des Moines,” are now reduced to extortion by threatening email, and holding hijacked Blockbuster returns hostage. I could burn words detailing the material that fills this concept out, but you get the picture. It works pretty much just like those other fake documentaries I mentioned above – as a tightly structured series of separate skits, with no higher aspiration than to make us laugh. To its credit, “Hit” works almost as well as its high-profile models, despite obvious budgetary constrictions (to say the least – “Hit” runs on talent and, as far as the naked eye can see, not a thing else). What appear to be studied improvisations, with a good bit of real acting technique in them, are executed by a cast of unknowns who are uniformly energetic, engaging, and clever, particularly Troy Grant in the lead, who comes off like a seedy, disaffected Nicolas Cage. The scenarios they’re working with are almost always worth a wriggle. More than a couple of times I laughed loudly, heartily, and at length. And unlike most “independent” comedy, “Hit” rarely allows itself to retreat from toeing the line of thoughtful effectiveness – most network TV comedy is shabbier, and more uneven, than this.

Aside from some minor technical issues related to the inescapable absence of money, there’s not much wrong with this one. It’s exactly as good as its concept. It’s pretty funny, and I plan to watch it again, myself.

Posted on December 16, 2003 in Reviews by

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