Based on the hit video game series, Hitman stars Timothy Olyphant in the role of Agent 47. Trained from childhood by a religious organization, Agent 47 is the perfect killing machine – A man with no emotion and an absolute dedication to his job. Not a bad starting point for an action movie. The possibility for an edge of your seats stealth-killing spree was there for the taking. Sadly however, the powers that be decided to only take elements from the game and construct their own vision around it.
To be fair to Hitman, before I start to point out it’s failings, I will say that when it gets its grove, Hitman does entertain, and as a cheap thrills action movie it probably has enough to keep its demographic entertained.
However, Hitman has many failings. It relies on too many clichés, the Jason Bourne style search for truth after your employer tried to kill you is one, the target has a body double is another. The biggest cliché of all however is the innocent girl who gets in the way and has to be saved. What’s more, this cliché has nothing to do with the game the movie is supposed to be based on, and serves only as a convenient excuse to show quite a bit of nudity. Any attempt at a love story is strangled by the lack of chemistry and the realistic lack of emotion or knowledge of what to do with a woman displayed by Agent 47. But somehow this helpless woman bewitches 47 and helps to mellow him out a bit, considering for once that there might be life outside of killing.
Relative newcomer, director Xavier Gens does a great job with the material he’s been given. The movie is full of lush visuals and plenty of game style – there’s even a scene where two kids can be seen playing the game. Timothy however seems a little out of his depth as Agent 47 and you can’t help but think how different the movie would have been if Vin had kept the part – not that he would have been perfect either.
All in all Hitman has plenty of eye candy, but the plot – or lack of – sends the brain into overdrive as it tries to determine just what is going on.
Food for thought:
Should we do what is necessary, what is hard, to save what we love?
When Agent 47 and Nika walk through the train station in St. Petersburg, to when Agent 47 is followed underground, the time in which the scenes were filmed switches between March 2007 and November 2007.
Director Xavier Gens was originally asked by the studio to make the movie PG-13, which he refused to do because of the source material. He was allowed to shoot the movie aiming for an R, however in the final stages, Xavier Gens was removed and Nicolas De Toth was brought in to re-edit the movie for commercial purposes, as he did with ‘Live Free or Die Hard’. (He is thanked in the credits for this editing).
In the opening credits of Hitman, there are several scenes involving children training. Many of these scenes were from footage from the first season of Dark Angel
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: R16 – Contains Violence, Offensive Language & Nudity.
Duration: 94 mins.
Director: Xavier Gens.
Actors: Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Ulrich Thomsen, Robert Knepper, Olga Kurylenko.
Release Date: Out Now.