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Hitman

A movie directed by Xavier Gens

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Ultraviolent Escapism, if you are into That Sort of Thing

  • Dec 29, 2008
Rating:
+1
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 night in between broadcast and cable seasons?  As it turns out, not much.  One pretty much knows what he, or she, is getting into with a movie like Hitman (2007), expecting anything more is foolish and a sure receipt for disappointment.     
    
The Story

Directed by Xavier Gens (I know, who?) Hitman's formula is one that has been regurgitated time and time again: a man-doesn't really matter who-is at the top of his game-doesn't really matter what-and is betrayed by the people he works for.  Now he must win the day through seeming insurmountable odds with a pretty counterpart by his side, who, incidentally starts out hating him, but half way through the film can't wait to have him underneath her.  Formula complete.

The man in this instance has no name but goes by the title Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant - Scream 2, Doppelganger, Deadwood), and the woman is Nika (Olga Kurylenko - Max Payne, Quantum of Solace).  Agent 47 who has a bar code on the back of his head, works for a shadowy outfit called The Organization.  They bred him from birth (he was an orphan) to do one thing: kill and kill well, with any number of instruments including, guns, knives, swords, poison, belts, wires, and his hands of course.  On a job he is double-crossed for reasons not adequately spelled out in the movie and now is on the run-but not really-killing any number of men sent to snuff him out, including his fellow Agents and various innocent law enforcement officers.  Agent 47 is an equal opportunity killer. 

Nika is a supposed to have witness his latest assignation, but of course she didn't; she is a victim and so Agent 47 must save her. 

My Thoughts

If viewed through the lens of an action movie genre, Hitman is one of the best I have seen in quite some time, sort of a non-thinking man's James Bond with a much higher and indiscriminate body count. There was sort of a plot involving body doubles, but it tried to be too smart and lost credibility 1/3 of the way through the movie.  As did the sub-plot involving an International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) agent named Mike Whittier (Desperate Housewives, Heist), who sanders into foreign countries claim jurisdiction over crime scenes; I didn't know Interpol had that sort of pull.  Turns out it doesn't.

And of course that the problem with Hitman, if one expect more from the movie that just blood and bullets; much of the plot doesn't make sense, nor does most of the dialog which is inane even for a movie in this genre.  Agent 47 is an automaton in the worse sense in that he cannot even muster up enough emotion to bed the girl when the opportunity presents itself, or in this case climbs on top of him half naked.   Please!        

Did I mention that Hitman is based on a video game?  At least the action is fast paced, the gun battles are sufficiently noisy, and the hand-to-hand combat scenes are well choreographed and exciting to watch.  The acting as far as it went was fine for the most part as long as no one was required to say much.  Luckily, Olyphant doesn't have much more to do except look severe and wave multiple weapons around, many of which were guns, and shoot them.  He and the lithe Ukrainian beauty Kurylenko make a nice-looking couple, though, and she at least made for compelling eye candy even though their story line is mostly contrived and whole incomprehensible.      

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.  But from a purely shoot-em' up standpoint the movie does not disappoint, that is if mindless, wanton violence with a little nudity thrown in for good measure in your cup of Sunday night tea.

Recommended:
Yes

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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October 15, 2010
Great review! Very easy to follow your thoughts on. Do you post at epinions? I copy some of my reviews over there, and your format reminds me of what they do.
 
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More Hitman reviews
review by . October 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The Bald, The Sexy And The Barcodes....
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 …
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 . February 04, 2009
  Timothy Olyphant is a fabulous actor, but it always seems to me that he gets cast in these b list roles and I feel like he is better than that. Now having said that I think he was excellent as Agent 47. When I first saw the preview I thought it was a terrible casting choice. For one, I didn't think he looked anything like him and two, I didn't think he could act the role. But then I saw the movie and both ended up being misconceptions. He really did look like 47:        …
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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Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #188
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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About this movie

Wiki

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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