Gaming System To Big Screen – “Hitman”

Hitman (2007)When this movie (directed by Xavier Gens) was announced I was so pumped.  For those of you that don’t know, Hitman is based on a video game franchise.  If you’re a fan of the game series then you’ll probably like the film (though many things have changed from the games to the movie).  That said, you certainly don’t need to have experience with the game to watch the movie.

The main character is Agent 47 played by Timothy Olyphant (Live Free Or Die Hard, Deadwood, Scream 2).  They don’t go into a ton of back story about how he becomes who he is but suffice to say he’s a bad ass contract killer out on to make a killing (pun intended).  After his apparent successful mission we learn that he’s been set up and the rest of the film shows how he goes about taking care of the rest of the contract.  I have to give HUGE props to Timothy Olyphant on his portrayal of 47.  He walked the walk (quite literally) and talked the talk of 47.  When I originally saw who was cast in this roll I wasn’t sure how it would work… he pulled it off beautifully.

Throughout the film, Agent 47 is being pursued by Interpol agent Mike Whittier (played by Dougray Scott who you may know from a stint on Desperate Housewives).  Scott delivers some great one liners and pulls off his roll very admirably.  He gets the shaft at the end of the movie in a big way but it makes for a great twist ending.

47’s love interest Nika Boronina (Olga Kurylenko probably best known as the Bond girl from Quantum Of Solace) is smoking hot, but really out of place in the Hitman world.  One thing that we learn when playing through the games is that this man has very few ties to the “real” world.  He’s a killer that is very good at what he does because he has no ties.  To think that he would have any kind of attachment to a whore no less is kind of a stretch.

This movie was pretty universally lambasted by reviewers.  I thought it was actually a pretty good flick when taken for what it was – a neat little action movie.  It’s just over 90 minutes in length so it’s not too long and not too short.  It’s got a very straight forward plot once you get into it and if you don’t mind the lack of back story it moves along nicely.  Big fans of the video game series might not like the fact that the story line doesn’t follow the game but even as a big fan myself I was able to get past this.

The one scene that really had me scratching my head was when 47 goes up against a couple of other agents.  They’re at a virtual standoff where they’re all pointing their guns at one another and 47 says something to the effect of “Let’s die with honor” or some such nonsense.  Immediately, all 4 of them drop their guns and produce katana-like swords from behind their backs and proceed to slice and dice one another.  It’s a GREAT action sequence in the film but we were given absolutely no reason to have it play out the way it did.  Weird.

If you’re looking for a good Friday night action movie this is worth the rental.  I picked up the “unrated” version used for $9 and I feel that I definitely got my money’s worth.  You won’t get a real deep plot but you’ll get plenty of action, quite a bit of violence and some gratuitous T & A.  Not only that but if you’re a gamer this is probably the best video game to movie adaptation to date (not that that’s saying much).  Enjoy!

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