Glen Powell's Hit Man Ending Explained: Who Was The Real Gary Johnson?

The Hit Man ending has fans perplexed, leading them to wonder who Gary Johnson is.

Updated on Jun 16, 2024  |  01:53 PM IST |  90.5K
Hit Man (Image via IMDb)

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for Hit Man movie.

With one of the greatest shows of the year, Netflix surreptitiously saved the season last week amid a summer in which most blockbusters have underperformed. Hit Man, the latest film from the perennially underappreciated Richard Linklater, is one of the most wildly entertaining movies in months and was just released on streaming services. 

The film is partially based on the true story of Gary Johnson, a college professor who surreptitiously collaborated with law enforcement by taking on the role of a hitman to extract confessions from potential killers.

Hit Man, directed by Linklater, is a rare gem that combines laughter and a touch of darkness, thanks to Glen Powell's outstanding performance. In a world full of formulaic movies, this one keeps you on your toes. You always need to find out where it's going, especially with its breathtaking finale. Let's look at the ending of "Hit Man" and how it teaches us about right and wrong.

Who is the real Gary Johnson?

After reading a Texas Monthly article about Gary Johnson's unconventional encounters as a hitman, filmmakers Linklater and Powell became interested in his story. Despite his initial fascination, Linklater struggled to create a cohesive narrative. Powell reignited the project nearly two decades later, suggesting a departure from strict adherence to the facts. This shift allowed them to delve deeper into Johnson's character and uncover the underlying mystery of his experiences.


They worked together to create Hit Man, which tells the story of Johnson's unexpected connection with a potential client, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality. Powell's creative input improved the film, particularly the exaggerated disguises Johnson wears for his assignments. While the real Johnson made only minor changes, Powell's vision resulted in a colorful cast of characters, adding depth and humor to the story.

But among the bizarre personas, Johnson's desire for a different identity is the most moving depiction. Through his many personas, viewers can observe not only his skill at deception but also his longing for a life that differs from his own. In the end, this makes Hit Man a story about criminal intrigue and self-discovery in equal measure.

How Does Netflix's Hit Man End?

Gary Johnson's false hitman business gets tricky when he falls for his latest client, Madison (Adria Arjona, also great), who wants her abusive husband, Ray, slain. Gary (as "Ron") wants to keep her on track and pushes her to resume her life. He subsequently starts a relationship with her, but Ray soon finds their connection and starts preparing to kill Madison, unwittingly disclosing his plan to Gary after approaching him as a hitman.


After warning Madison, who kills Ray and stages it as a botched drug sale, Gary becomes alarmed and unintentionally tells her who he is. As this is going on, fellow policeman Jasper (Austin Amelio), the department's first "fake hitman," begins to suspect Madison of being the killer. Suspecting that Gary had some sort of relationship with Madison, he compels Gary to pretend to be Ron to get a confession from her.

While pretending to interrogate Madison, Gary secretly gives her acting cues from his phone, allowing her to fool the cops into believing she is innocent. It works for the majority of Gary's team, but an undeterred Jasper visits her house later that evening and discovers the truth. Wanting to reclaim his old job, he attempts to blackmail them in exchange for his silence. However, Madison secretly drugs his drink, causing him to pass out.

Knowing that Madison will be imprisoned if she is found to have drugged a police officer, Gary vows to protect his new love and, in a scene straight out of a classic noir film, suffocates an unconscious Jasper with a plastic bag. 


He believes that because Jasper has been bothering the police department for years, no one will suspect that his death was not a suicide given his reputation. Their plan works, and the final scenes take place a few years later, when Madison and Gary, now happily married, tell their young children how they first met.

ALSO READ: Hit Man Stars Glen Powell And Adria Arjona Share Unique Method For Planning Intimate Scenes

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