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Overall Rating

Awesome: 16.36%
Worth A Look: 14.55%
Average: 5.45%
Pretty Bad: 16.36%
Total Crap47.27%

4 reviews, 31 user ratings

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Hitman (2007)
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Erik Childress

"Number 47? Your Crappy Order Is Ready!"
1 stars

I’m of two minds when it comes to evaluating the forms of entertainment known as cinema and video games. Some may even find my stance on the latter hypocritical considering my brevity of patience for two hours of abstract noise and soulless special effects play on screen. It’s true that I tend to like a little steak before my dessert, but when it comes to video games I want to shoot first and ask questions later. Just give me a target and a button to push and I’ll be a happy guy. I don’t have time for quests and to gather supplies. My idea of playing Grand Theft Auto is to get into a semi and start plowing down hookers. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy an all-out bulletfest on screen though. The director’s cut of Commando gloriously holds a spot on my DVD shelf. But the film in question better at least match the energy of a video game; a quotient that has been elevated over the years through sound design, vibrating controllers and action-packed extravaganzas like Halo. Director Xavier Gens doesn’t just fail to come close to that sort of experience, but has created a shockingly inept feature that should have gamers everywhere more up-in-arms than when they heard rumors of it being cut into a PG-13.

Ask any of them for background on the video game and you’ll hear the tale of a Vatican-sponsored organization that has trained young boys to become professional killers; shaving their heads and imprinting them with a barcode and numbers instead of names. Watch the movie and all you’ll hear is Geoff Zanelli’s Bourne-inspired ba-ba-BA-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-BA-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba score. This history is truncated into an opening credits sequence that looks like outtakes from THX-1138 and provides us actually with less information on the anti-hero known as “47” (Timothy Olyphant). Ba-ba-BA-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba. Upon film’s start, 47 isn’t snuffing out lives but actually sparing one. Mike (Dougray Scott), a detective who has been chasing him longer than The Incredible Hulk was on the air, finds the killer in his house in what looks to be a setup for Interview with the Hitman. Ba-ba-BA-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba.

Some time earlier, 47 was hired by a near pre-WarGames voice on his laptop to take out Russian President, Mikhail Belicoff (Ulrich Thomsen). After successfully completing the job, he is told there was a witness. At no point does he ask how anyone could qualify as a witness from his perch miles away, let alone how a two-bit hooker like Nika (Olga Kurylenko) would be able to ID him. 47 isn’t too quick on the uptake and it takes a second attack on him for him to realize that he’s been setup. Ba-ba-BA-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba. The who and the why are near impossible to fathom since we spend more time with Interpol Mike and the Russian bureaucrats trying to hamper his search than learning anything about the titular character. Is a bald guy with a barcode on his neck constantly wearing a black suit and bright red tie really that hard to spot? You would think that Hitman School would have provided a class in disguises. In 47’s defense he does put on a uniform at one point to blend in, BUT HE DOESN’T COVER UP HIS HEAD!

With so much head on display, not to mention Nika’s willingness to provide it, there’s still not a brain running through the lot of Hitman. Fox’s ad campaign of “saint/sinner” ranks second to the video game backstory and well ahead of Skip Woods’ screenplay in ID’ing him as anything more than a guy who has watched the films of Luc Besson a few too many times. A hundred points to anyone who hears the word “Vatican” employed at any moment during the film and a thousand for making the connection (using just the film) that the Papal Pentagon has a hit squad office not assigned to vampires, the Corleones or covering up altar boy offenses. Aside from the climactic shootout and a Latin-engraved cross key, the Church is never associated with 47’s activities.

As for the shootouts themselves of which any mindless action derivative depends on to cover up its outright mediocrity, they are notable only for their lackluster execution. And for as many as there are, that’s a lot to take note of. Besides a temporary eyelid lifter on an abandoned train involving more barcodeheads and a mano-a-mano-a-mano-a-mano “dignity” fight with swords, Xavier Gens doesn’t have a single new idea nor a notable style for lensing the action sequences and must resort at one point to 47 going all Jigsaw on a guy (even muttering his signature line, “Live or die. Your choice.”) with a walkie-talkie, a bathtub and a large chunk of voltage. Even a guy in Vegas wouldn’t have a good weekend with all that stuff.

47 could certainly use one though and lighten up when a hot Ukranian babe he’s kept in the trunk for half-a-movie cares to straddle him as a thank you. Whatever discipline he’s received in backing it up before the big fight or sexual confusion at an all-boy school funded by the Vatican is left to our own twisted imagination. As played by Olyphant, 47 is a void of every kind and makes his boring villain from Live Free or Die Hard earlier in the year look like Gary Oldman in The Professional. For an actor who has been so engaging as dual-natured villains in Go and The Girl Next Door and as one of the few honorable men in Deadwood, Olyphant’s choices to play such character-less characters is rather disheartening. Even moreso will be the confrontations with hardcore gamers who manage to give this film a pass out of loyalty or some unheeded rebellion to stuffy critics who occasionally need a little more than dead bodies to appease them. Well I am going on record here and now. If there is someone out there willing to support Hitman and who understands who the bad guys are and who believes that it conforms to the basic attributes of a cinematic experience, then there is something wrong with you and I’ll be in touch with numbers 1-46 to handle it. Ba-ba-BA-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-BAD!

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originally posted: 11/21/07 16:00:00
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User Comments

8/21/15 mr.mike Routine but not half bad. 3 stars
12/01/10 Inerjon Who cares about the movie, Olga (Nika) is my target & I'd like to Hit (her) man!! ;-) 5 stars
11/01/09 Joy Banerjee The gadgets used in the film was brilliant 5 stars
1/24/09 CTT All style, no substance, but not a disaster 3 stars
10/13/08 Shaun Wallner Intense Action!! 5 stars
7/17/08 mike I agree with JM. Awesome stuff! 5 stars
4/07/08 JM fucking outstanding..girl = hot, hitman = genius badass looks better than 007. 5 stars
3/12/08 action movie fan exciting cat and mouse thriller of hunter becoming the hunted 4 stars
2/08/08 Anthony Feor The best video game movie and for that I give it credit 4 stars
2/05/08 Paul Shortt Hit-man misses its target. . . BADLY 1 stars
1/28/08 sniperwolfk Your absolutely right Mel.. they should had given agent 47 less emotions and speaking lines 1 stars
1/25/08 Courtney (almost as bad as tennis elbow) Spy flick genre sure ain't what it used to be. Incoherent, creating little sympathy for any 2 stars
12/17/07 I-K Weighted rating - all the elements pointed to a suckfest, but it was surprisingly watchable 3 stars
12/16/07 mark madsen this a good movie. alittle far fetch. 4 stars
12/14/07 Stratulat Cornel Verry good 5 stars
12/09/07 Keystra Williams PAINFUL. 1 stars
12/07/07 Zuracech Lordum Followed the game (which is a prerequisite), mediocre directing, good plot, good acting 4 stars
12/05/07 Ole Man Bourbon Olyphant good, girl hot, movie stupid and boring. And not even very violent. 1 stars
12/05/07 Sir Guy This movie was awesome, what is better than people being shot in the head? Nothing 5 stars
12/02/07 Anthony G This movie follows the game? Are you people retarded? This movie was trash 1 stars
11/29/07 raul valdez jr wow another thing to bitch and complain about does ANYTHING satisfy you people? 1 stars
11/28/07 Bnorm It was alright... 2 stars
11/28/07 Naurto Stick with the infinitely better games... 2 stars
11/28/07 Ron20003 Critics said this sucked. Nope. Cristics said Mist was good. Nope! What up? 4 stars
11/27/07 Dan Rugg Very good action film!! 4 stars
11/25/07 Rick Mandell absolute garbage and a compendium of confusion, plot holes, and gaffes. 1 stars
11/25/07 Timmer Not expecting much but was thoroughly entertained for 107 minutes. 4 stars
11/25/07 Frank Didn't suck the dick. Thought it would. Blew my load instead. 4 stars
11/23/07 Doug The move pretty much backed the game. People say its "bland", well go play the game 5 stars
11/22/07 JP This movie sucked dick 1 stars
11/22/07 Mat The games are the best, and the movie follows them very well. 5 stars
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  21-Nov-2007 (R)
  DVD: 11-Mar-2008



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