CANNON MONTH 2: The Hitman (1991)

Seattle policeman and mullet enthusiast Cliff Garret (Chuck Norris) is wounded in a drug bust gone sour and the worst part is that it was his corrupt partner Ronny Delany (Michael Parks) who shot him. And then, he dies but comes back on the operating table. The police cover up his death and he gets a new identity, hitman Danny Grogan, and a new job, getting into the crime family of Marco Luganni (Al Waxman).

Grogan was planning to go all Raw Deal on two gangs — Luganni’s and the French Canadian gang led by André LaCombe (Marcel Sabourin) — but then Iranian drug dealers — oh man, doubling up on Chuck’s two worst enemies in one evil package! — start killing everyone. Meanwhile, our hero is mentoring a young black kid named Tim Murphy (Salim Grant) and teaching him to fight racist bullies, but that ends up getting the kid tied to a chair bomb when Delaney shows up working for Luganni and the Iranians at the same time.

Originally intended for Charles Bronson — who would have worked much better in the role, as Norris isn’t really made for being a bad guy — this was directed by Chuck’s brother Aaron and written by Robert Geoffrion (The Surrogate), Don Carmondy (who directed and co-wrote that very same movie) and Galen Thompson, who wrote SidekicksHellbound and Superstition under the name Donald G. Thompson, this is a movie that at one point wants to be a violent mob story and then also wants to be a tender movie where Chuck bonds with a kid. Can it be both? Kinda.

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