"The Hitman" (citywide) opens effectively. Two middle-aged cops, longtime partners, are about to pack up a stakeout in a Manhattan warehouse district when one of them (Chuck Norris) notices suspicious flashing lights high up in a nearby building.
Norris scarcely has time to comprehend that he's been set up by his partner (Michael Parks), when Parks blasts him through a warehouse window. Norris lands on top of a car several floors below but miraculously survives.
The Drug Enforcement Agency lets it be known that Norris is dead, however, rehabilitating him so he can infiltrate organized crime in Seattle. Almost immediately, the film lapses into ultra-violent tediousness as the local underworld kingpin (Al Waxman) engages in warfare with a French-Canadian rival (Marcel Sabourain). And there's a gang of aspiring Iranian drug dealers to contend with. Boredom mounts along with the body count.
Producer and co-writer Don Carmody (with Robert Geoffrion) missed a bet by moving Parks out of the picture so early. The laconic Norris and Parks, as a nervy, bantering cop "turned dirty," play off each other so well that their relationship should have been the center of the film, with Parks' betrayal providing the climax. To be sure, Parks reappears for the bloody finish, but that just reinforces how much he's been missed for the bulk of the movie.