Hit and Run, an Israeli spy thriller

Lior Raz in Hit and Run

Hit and Run is an action thriller from Israel. It’s the first Netflix original from Israel. It was both gripping and boring – or in other words, uneven. It’s full of gruesome violence and plenty of fighting and mystery. This review is free of major spoilers.

Kaelen Ohm in Hit and Run
The beautiful Danielle

In Hit and Run, the lead character Segev (Lior Raz) is happily married to his wife, Danielle (Kaelen Ohm). They live in Tel Aviv. She’s a dancer on her way to an audition in New York City when she’s killed in a hit and run accident.

Quickly we learn that Segev is not the cheerful family man we thought. As he looks into Danielle’s death he finds reason to believe it was murder. The people who murdered Danielle want to murder him and his teenage daughter, too.

Lior Raz in Hit and Run
The dangerous Segev

Segev is a trained killer and he’s good at it. He’s also a violent hothead who takes off on a search for Danielle’s killers like a rabid dog. In the nine episodes of season 1, he takes on the police, the CIA, and Mossad. They pop up wherever he goes but he’s unstoppable.

Not only does Segev do damage to the spies and murderers who are after him, he also brings people he loves into the fight. His cousin Tali (Moran Rosenblatt) is a pregnant Israeli police officer. He gets her to find out all sorts of information he shouldn’t have. Based on that info, he heads for New York City.

Sanaa Lathan in Hit and Run
The reason to watch the series

In New York, Segev enlists the help of his former mercenary fighting buddies. Naomi (Sanaa Lathan) is now a journalist. She writes the story of Danielle’s murder even as she helps Segev learn more. Ron (Gal Toren) is now a pot-smoking dad living a very quiet life. But he still has a suitcase full of guns in his attic. Helping Segev does nothing good for either of these old friends.

If you are a regular reader here, you’ll realize I wanted to see this because of Sanaa Lathan’s participation. Her character was brave and determined, but not as lethal as her past with Segev and Ron might indicate.

Segev discovers something disturbing about Danielle’s father, Martin Wexler (Gregg Henry). He finds out that Danielle maintained an affair with an Israeli security officer named Assaf (Lior Ashkenazi) even after they were married. The secrets spill out episode by episode leading deeper and deeper into conspiracies, lies, spycraft, and various kinds of government malfeasance.

There were some surprises. Other things that were meant to be surprise twists were transparent from miles away. Like most twisty spy stories, it’s not a good idea to trust any character.

The season ends unresolved with a major cliffhanger and many unanswered questions. A second season has not been announced as of this writing.

Lior Raz is good as the anti-hero. I found him totally unlikable. He looked mean and vicious most of the time and is scary to contemplate. He also helped write this series, along with Avi Issacharoff, Dawn Prestwich, and Nicole Yorkin. Neasa Hardiman directed 3 of the episodes.

The cinematography was muted, underexposed, and undersaturated. Even outdoor scenes felt filtered and dark. I had to change all the normal settings on my television to be able to see what was happening. That was not only annoying but disrespectful to viewers.

Poster for Hit and Run

Here’s a bit of a preview.

If you watch this series, I’d like to know what you thought of it and if you’d like to watch a second season.

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