Blasting its way into theaters this Thanksgiving is the movie adaptation of the critically acclaimed game Hitman. This film stars the awesome Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood) as Agent 47, an assassin trained from birth to be the ultimate killing machine in a network of global operators.
The story follows the titular hitman, Agent 47, as he works to finish a job which went awry after he’d be set up. 47 must simultaneously tackle a corrupt Russian government, battle off assassins sent to finish him in, protect the girl, and artfully dodge the pursuing INTERPOL officers, lead by Mike Whittier (Dougray Scott).
After what he knows to be a perfect hit appears botched, the tables are quickly turned on Agent 47 as he finds himself the target of multiple organizations. He only knows one way out – the way of the gun. With a variety of hand to hand moves, bladed weapons and a heavenly (or hellish) amount of firepower, he works his way to his goal with ruthless efficiency. Along the way he picks up the tossed aside property of a Russian official in the form of the beautiful Olga Kurylenko. The journey sees Agent 47 see a slightly different side of himself, a glimpse of humanity, as well as the flaws of his enemies sitting in his gunsights.
The film has a frenetic editing style which is so common these days, but rarely goes overboard with it. Hitman looks great under the capable directing Xavier Gens and the cinematography is actually quite beautiful. We’re treated to various locations, including Africa and Russia, with many areas taken straight from the video game. Fans of the game will have a lot to spot, from the custom HardBaller pistols, to level designs and even a couple of kids actually playing the video game on a PC.
The action isn’t quite as heavy as the trailer would lead you to believe, but when it happens it delivers. The fights are fast and hard and the bullets fly with reckless abandon and splatter blood with an artistic glee. The sound design on the weapons is pleasing and all the weapons sound different and his custom .45s have a very satisfying chunky sound to them.
The acting is top notch from Olyphant who is looking ready to really make his move into the big leagues. As anyone who has seen him act can tell you, the man has presence and the chops to go far. Dougray Scott isn’t given much in the way of character, but he gives the character life and he never seems to let his parts drag, even if the scripting is a touch weak in these parts. Olga Kurylenko steams up the screen with a raw sexuality and a bruised exterior that clearly hides a deeper, more sincere hooker. Some scenes generate the steam while others generate the bloodshed.
While not a perfect movie, Hitman serves up a good introduction to the character while leaving the air open for plenty more adventures to come. This is one movie that I feel could spawn a successful franchise of 4-6 films and I would like to see that come to fruition, personally. This movie is comparable, for me, to The Punisher as a great introductory film that gives you tastes of what you came for but ultimately doesn’t fully satisfy. But it whets your whistle for another installment.
Hitman is an enjoyable way to blow away 100 minutes of your day and you’ll definitely be up for playing some video games or heading out to the gun range after watching Olyphant’s Agent 47 deftly maneuver between villains and handly dispatch them. Fans of the game will be happy to note that Agent 47 retains his cold blooded nature and hasn’t been turned into a hero for the masses, a nice gritty touch to a good action film.
Recommended for popcorn and fans of the game and action genre. Imagine Shoot ‘Em Up with more plot and less ridiculousness and more straight awesome assassin games.
|Release Date: November 21, 2007
Running Time: 100 min.
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko, Robert Knepper
Director: Xavier Gens
Screenplay: Skip Woods
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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