a critiQal film review Hitman (2007)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: Agent 47 (Olyphant) is a professional assassin. But, when this bar-coded killer becomes part of a political takeover, the hunter becomes the hunted. Chased across Eastern Europe by both Interpol and the Russian military, he tries to discover who set him up - and why.

667 words (Est. Reading Time 3m 20s)

With Uwe Boll trying to destroy every video game franchise’s chance of having a decent film debut, it looks like others are snapping up whatever game franchises they can before he gets to them.

Last year, 20th Century Fox unleashed it’s latest game franchise-turned-movie, Hitman, on the public – and got reactions usually reserved for Uwe Boll films – namely, not good to awful.

Having seen some of the reviews, I figured I’d stay away from Hitman in theaters…but since it’s arrived on DVD, well, that’s another story. After all, I don’t always agree with the general consensus on films (like the unbelievably positive reactions to the stinker and it’s sequels). Would Hitman be another one where the critics and I would have to agree to disagree, or was this as bad as they said?

Timothy Olyphant, who did a decent enough job in Willis’ , takes on the role of the bald-headed, bar-coded assassin named Agent 47. While the new do makes him look a bit more menacing, he comes off more as a robotic wanna-be Terminator than a lethal assassin.

Whether he’s fending off the bad guys, getting double crossed, or fending off advances from co-star Olga Kurylenko, he never alters his blank look. Apparently it’s supposed to make him more menacing, but, combined with the monotone way he fires off his lines, it makes him seem to be nothing but a robot. So when Olga’s character smiles and says something to the effect of “you’re quite a charmer when you aren’t killing people,” it provokes an unintentional laugh from the audience, since charm has obviously alluded this guy.

Olga Kuryenko, therefore, is largely wasted as Agent 47’s potential companion, since no matter what she does, this guy just shrugs her off and moves on. It’s supposed to let the viewer in on how focused he is on his mission, but instead it comes off as stupid and ridiculous..and pretty much wipes out any reason Olga is in the film at all. If her job is to let the viewer see a softer side to this killer-for-hire, she fails miserably, barely even eliciting a slight grin from the stone face.

Dougray Scott, playing Agent 47’s biggest nemesis, seems to be aboard a ship of fools, as his compatriots – who, of course, never listen to him – fall by the wayside, yet he manages to stay alive and in reasonably good shape. The viewer can almost see him wondering how the heck he actually ended up in the film – and who to make amends to for their anger at him.

The plotline is decent enough, but the film barely gives the storyline any flair. It’s pretty straightforward, meaning the viewer doesn’t have to think much, but then again, that straightforwardness is part of what makes it uninteresting.

In cases where the storyline and actors quite aren’t up to the par the viewer is expecting, the fight sequences are supposed to make up for it (see as a prime example of that – ridiculous storyline, incredibly bad dialogue, but it did have inventive fight scenes. No wonder it was a hit).

Unfortunately for Hitman, most of it’s fight sequences (of which there are quite a few) are nothing new to any regular viewer of action films. The room shoot-outs have been done before, and much better (True Romance, pretty much any John Woo flick). The one-on-one fight sequences are a bit too hacked together, making them uneven and hard to follow. Even the sword-fighting sequences with multiple opponents look incredibly staged and highly unrealistic.

Having seen the film on DVD, I’m going to have to agree with the critics on this one. While it’s not as bad as Uwe Boll’s last film, , Hitman isn’t really anything special either.

A simplistic plot mixed with uneven acting and sloppy action sequences make Hitman something less than mediocre.

Just like the critics, my advice on Hitman is to stay away. Don’t worry – you won’t miss anything good.

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