Movie Review: Hitman

Year Released: 2007
Directed by: Xavier Gens
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko
Production Company: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: Nov 21, 2007

Hitman, as any good gaming geek would know is the movie based on the hit multiplatform by Eidos interactive. In the game, you play a ruthless hitman assigned to eliminate targets by a splinter religious sect organization. You dispatch targets with as much creativity as you like, and your reward is moving further up the game chain. In other words: it can get pretty repetitive – just like the movie.

Well, it wasn’t so repetitive as it was graining on my eyes watching a lot of nothing happen on the screen. The plot follows our Hitman, known anonymously only as ‘Agent 47′ (Olyphant), from being raised as child to breathe, sweat, eat and presumably shit assassin. The beginning scene proudly plays Ave Maria which screams out “Pay attention! This is important!” Don’t worry, it’s not. And it’s an interesting back-story, but full of questions that are really never answered. Moving onto adulthood rather quickly, chrome domed Agent 47 receives a barcode tattoo (we can only assume this is where the ’47’ came from) to basically let the audience know he’s graduated from Assassin University. The real plot then takes place, but I feel it’s really nonexistent and rather unimportant to the film. Agent 47 is dispatched to murder a potential presidential candidate of Russia. He fails, or so you think, in steps Dougray Scott as the FBI to call it bullshit, he unravels a plot, agent 47 is framed by his own organization, goes on the lam, picks up a half dressed Olga Kurylenko , continues running, unravels another plot and so on so forth.

Like I said, the plot really isn’t what you’re watching: it’s the gunplay, the violence and the slick angles that make this so cool. It’s a shame really, because Hitman is another ‘style over substance’ movie that really doesn’t inspire, take any new chances nor does it leave you with a sense of closure. Like I said, there are some pretty cool parts, such as samurai fighting and the occasional boob shot that got in there, but really, it felt lame.

You can certainly tell the actors tried their best with the material they were given. Dougray Scott, brings a little of that british wit and dignity, whereas I’m not sure if Timothy Olyphant really fills the shoes of a role this big. Granted, he looks just like the character from the game, yet lacks the nitty grittiness that the role suggests he needs. He’s a killer right? I understand the need to get dressed up in a black suit and blood red tie, but it’s okay that he gets beat up and muddy every once in a while: give me my action heroes in the form of the John McClane. Olga Kurylenko is new to American cinema’s, but I get the feeling this vehicle isn’t going to launch her into utter stardom; if anything, she’ll spend a good amount of time ever denying this movie was on her resume. The rest of the cast I could mention, but they are utterly throw away peices. Use them to get the plot going, but don’t bother trying to find their motivations.

Perhaps I’m just complaining, but at times the audio didn’t quite sync up properly. Of course most of the talking scenes of Agent 47 has Timothy Olyphant talking through his teeth most of the time; which would be hard for any editor to get through.

The spy/assassin genre is chock full of mindless, uninspired crud and Hitman is no different. If you want something with real substance and that’s smart enough not to insult your intelligence, check out the Bourne Series, or to a lesser extent: the cartoonish super villainy of Austin Powers. At least you’ll feel more satisfied than watching Hitman.

2 out of 10