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A movie directed by Xavier Gens

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The Bald, The Sexy And The Barcodes....

  • Oct 11, 2010
When one goes to see a video-game inspired movie; one cannot expect too much. This latest outing "Hitman" (2007) directed by Xavier Gens (Frontiers) may leave a lot to be desired when it comes to an original plot but it does offer some decent action entertainment. I am at a slight disadvantage, as I have never played the video game before; all I can do is comment on how well "Hitman" is made, its production and entertainment values. I managed to get a free ticket out of the "Live Free and Die Hard" DVD so at least my review will not be influenced by the "paid to see it" mentality. But this unrated Dvd actually has more blood in the action scenes which was never displayed in the theatrical run.

Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) is an impeccably dressed assassin with a mysterious past. He was bred by a secret organization to kill anyone so long as the price is right. He has such a reputation that Interpol is hot on his heels and nicknamed him "A Ghost". His next target is the Russian leader Belkoff. 47 never misses, he always finishes his mission. To his surprise, the next day, Belkoff shows up on television; alive and breathing. Agent 47 has been set up as a "fall guy" for political reasons. Now, Agent 47 is on a mission to find out who set him up. He hooks up with a sexy prostitute (Olga Kurylenko) he embarks on a bloody trail to find answers, with an obsessed Interpol agent (Dougray Scott), the Russian intelligence, and the organization itself that bred him hot in his trail...

               Timothy Olyphant in "Hitman."

              Olga Kurylenko and Timothy Olyphant in "Hitman."

             Poster art for "Hitman."

Being a movie adapted from a video game, one cannot expect too much since video game devices seldom make a good transition to film. “With “Hitman” one can expect the usual clichés in its premise; a cool intimidating glorified anti-hero, a sexy woman with a sordid past, very cool visuals, lots of slow-motion trickery and some intense action. The plot is definitely unoriginal and director Xavier Gens pulled out all the stops to provide the audience with a visual and aural feast for action junkies.

A lot of explosions, nudity and gunfire are what you will get from "Hitman". Hong Kong action films mixed in with the Luc Besson attitude roughly inspire the action. This is definitely a flick for testosterone-laden males, as the experience is obviously not geared toward the female audience. The hyper-kinetic visuals have the usual slow-motion action with creative camera positioning; stylish and cool-looking gunfights that looks very fresh and sexy at the same time. Director Gens definitely let the proceedings go wild as we see ‘bullet ballet’ accompanied with the “Ave Maria” background music while blood and gore is added in this unrated version to project visceral impact. We see exploding brains and body harm brought into exposition aside from the usual arterial spray. Gens does inject some meat in its simple plot; the usual political twist did prove mildly interesting, but it wasn’t played well enough and it didn’t distract me from the plot holes as they screamed to my reasoning processes. The film is definitely another film with "more style than substance" and offers nothing new in the action genre.

           Timothy Olyphant and Olga Kurylenko in "Hitman."

          Timothy Olyphant in "Hitman."

          Poster art for "Hitman."

Timothy Olyphant is a decent presence on-screen. However, his performance in the mano-o-mano fights needs a lot to be desired. Olyphant looks really awkward performing the martial arts moves and his moves look very stiff and unconvincing; for someone who is supposedly been bred to kill, I would expect someone delivering more fluid moves with intense confidence. The role actually feels tailor-made for "Transporter" action star; Jason Statham who can perform both the martial arts moves convincingly and at the same time exude the alluringly intense attitude. Olyphant doesn't have the presence of a suave and deadly assassin, (Don’t get me wrong, Olyphant is a capable actor but he seemed out of his element in this role). Olga Kurylenko serves more as eye-candy and to provide the usual sly humor. She struts around the screen mostly in ultra skimpy outfits (no underwear) or naked most of the time (But I'm not complaining).

"Hitman" is a mixed bag. While it definitely leans toward the usual clichés and doesn't offer anything groundbreaking. It isn’t a very impressive action affair but I found it a good enough diversion once I consider the source material. While totally inferior to similar films, I did consider the fact that the source material may not translate well into film. After all, this film is based on a video game, so expect realism to be thrown out the window. How can top secretive assassins walk around in really nice suits and shaved heads with a bar-code walk around unnoticed? I would think that those bar codes would be a dead giveaway. Well, in the world of video games; this reality can exist. So, this "Hitman" movie felt like a video game.

Timidly Recommended for fans of the game, But a Rental For everybody else.
[3- Out of 5 Stars]

The Bald, The Sexy And The Barcodes.... The Bald, The Sexy And The Barcodes.... The Bald, The Sexy And The Barcodes.... The Bald, The Sexy And The Barcodes.... The Bald, The Sexy And The Barcodes....

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October 15, 2010
Never played this game before. Probably not a movie I would see, but you wrote a great review on it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, William!
October 15, 2010
Thanks for dropping by, Adri. I saw this one in theaters and saw the unrated dvd last week. Have you seen the Social Network yet?

methinks you'll like it.  
October 15, 2010
Nope, I haven't seen it yet, but it's waiting for me. I suspect it might be more dramatized than I would prefer, but I still want to see it. :)
October 11, 2010
Right on. I never played much of the games but liked how there was more then one way to solve a hit job. My only other real knowledge of the game comes from an internet reviewer who mocks the games and acts insane and screams through the game as he plays. They're funny. Olga is in this? Cool, I remember her from Quantum of Solace. I think she even shares my birthday.
October 12, 2010
Heck yeah, John. Olga is one hot mamma; I liked her in CENTURION as a mute warrior-woman too.. That is great information to know--maybe I'll play the game someday. Her B-day is on 11/14/1979...whoa. I am only 7 years older LOL! 
October 12, 2010
11/14/79?! I AM as old as her! I'm old.
October 11, 2010
Statham would have been great in this, good call WP
October 12, 2010
exactly. Olyphant is a good actor but he seemed to be out of his element here.
More Hitman reviews
review by . December 29, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Read review     Cons: Read review     The Bottom Line: Hitman is just about what you'd expect when a video game makes the leap to the big screen; the translation is all muddled and such.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. The trailers were enticing enough; bald man clips untold number of baddies with big silver guns.  What else could a testosterone laden American male need on a Sunday …
review by . June 17, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
HITMAN was better than I expected. It's still not a good movie, but it wasn't quite the dreck-fest I feared. While still a piece of nonsense, I actually grew to like Timothy Olyphant's performance enough to forgive many other failings of the film.    I've never played the video game, and cannot comment on its success transferring to film.     HITMAN shows us, in the opening credit sequence (with Ave Maria playing in the background for no good reason, except, …
review by . April 13, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
I didn't expect to be impressed with this movie because in my mind it was simply another flick made from a video game but man, I was blown away! In fact it was so enjoyable that ten minutes after finishing it I wanted to see it again, and that rarely happens. Never mind the few geographical errors, this movie is all action and there is no waste of precious minutes on mindless love scenes - the one actually has one cut short by the main hero and it was humorous, how he was all business, him being …
review by . April 04, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Yet another game to movie adaptation, but this one has a major difference. It's actually pretty damn cool.    Timothy Olyphant fits perfectly into the role of Agent 47, an orphan who is taken in and trained by an agency that trains children to be the most stealthy and deadly hitmen in the world. Agent 47 is the best of the best of all the Hitmen raised and trained by "The Organization." He is called in to perform on a hit on the Russian President Mikhail Belicoff, however the …
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William ()
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Please "Like" Film and Movies and Keep the Economy strong....LOL!!      My Interests: Movies, Anime, History, Martial Arts, Comics, Entertainment,Cooking, Things I don't … more
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Based on the popular Playstation 2 game, HITMAN chronicles the frame-up and retribution-packed odyssey of Number 47 (Timothy Olyphant), a bald assassin raised from birth to be a killer and tattooed with a barcode on the back of his head. There's lots of BOURNE SUPREMACY-style flash-edits and superhuman stunt work as 47 seeks to find out why moderate Russian presidential nominee Belicoff (Ulrich Thomsen) was the client for his own assassination, a hit that 47 pulled off perfectly, except for one hitch: the target's still alive. For romantic interest we have Olga Kurylenko as a foxy Russian prostitute sold into slavery by the evil Belicoff. She and 47 wind up on the lam together but they'll never be safe as long as Belicoff is still alive. Meanwhile, Interpol agent Mike Whittier (Dougray Scott) has been tracking 47 for years; he's on the scent and about to close in. Luc Besson was the producer on this, and fans of his TRANSPORTER, THE PROFESSIONAL and LA FEMME NIKITA films will eat it up, as it's got the ...
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