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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)
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by brianorndorf

"As if the world needs another reason to ignore Timothy Olyphant"
1 stars

Movies adapted from video games have always been a strange phenomenon. Taking something inherently cinematic and turning it into, cinematic has resulted in a line of box office corpses. “Hitman” is the latest casualty; an overcooked time killer that finds bad acting, bad direction, bad cinematography, and bad screenwriting in a furious race to dominate the running time. I’d call it a four-way tie.

Living a life of murder clad in posh business wear, Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) is a contract killer with an enigmatic past, genetically bred to assassinate anyone as long as the price is right. Positioned as the patsy in a scheme to execute a Russian leader, 47 dashes around Europe to clear his name, taking a prostitute (model Olga Kurylenko) with him for answers, only to find himself consumed with protecting her. As the two plunge deeper into the conspiracy, an Interpol agent (Dougray Scott) is hot on their tail, rabid to stop 47 and expose his identity.

The appeal of the “Hitman” video games was the ability to play up John Woo theatrics and enjoy a healthy portion of Luc Besson anti-hero glorification. So, in turning “Hitman” into a movie, the production has created a film frighteningly derivative of the fruit of past action pioneers. It hopes the lure of its console origin will sucker the faithful into coughing up hard-earned cash to watch what normally passes for direct-to-video content, only without Steven Seagal or Wesley Snipes in the lead role.

As a movie, “Hitman” is a jumble of poorly executed ideas all fighting for screentime. Director Xavier Gens doesn’t have the faintest clue how to rein everything in and mold a story out of this mess, so he allows the picture to run wild with generic action and political mumbo-jumbo. It’s an overblown highlight reel of directorial exhaustion, topping itself with bullet cinema cliché after cliché.

The finest example of buffoonery being a shootout in one of those dingy Euro hideouts (you know, the ones with hookers and “Clockwork Orange” references laying about) where 47 detonates a bomb on a table of money, soon engaging in a slo-mo gunfight while cash rains from the sky Jay-Z style and bodies are soon pocked with juicy bullet wounds. In short: Gens has nothing innovative to offer the big screen; he’s just another style-conscious boob with a budget.

The examples of pure ineptitude eventually pile up in a big way: cinematographer Laurent Bares’s desire to smoke up a handful of scenes to a point of hilarity (the Interpol office looks like an opium den); composer Geoff Zanelli’s tedious Hans Zimmer rip-off scoring; fight choreography that’s lethargic, nonsensical, and overly rehearsed; Kurylenko’s acting range, which is limited to ample nudity and fits of crying (not to mention the character’s magical ability to retouch her eye makeup while riding in the trunk of a car); and finally the miscasting of a muted Olyphant in a role that requires brute force and almost sensual homicidal posture.

Olyphant isn’t an actor of incredible range, and between this film and last summer’s “Live Free or Die Hard,” it’s perplexing to see him cast in hostile roles. He has neither the mettle nor vocal density to pull off the role of Agent 47, looking silly brandishing monster guns, somersaulting around the frame, and summoning a sexual tango with Kurylenko. The role seems more tailored to a brawnier actor (say Jason Statham) who can pull off the mix of ambiguity and allure. Olyphant is lost in this movie, caught between a need for starring-role paychecks and his inherent limitations as a performer.

By the end of the film the audience learns absolutely nothing about 47’s extensive secretive past (amounting to a huge chunk of plotting completely ignored), can barely locate the tiresome switcheroo plot, and is forced to ask this obvious question: if the hitmen value utmost secrecy, why do they all strut around in thousand-dollar suits with bar codes tattooed to the back of their bone-white shaved heads? In the gaming world, it’s all part of the show. On the big screen, the whole enterprise looks quite ridiculous.

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originally posted: 11/21/07 16:18:44
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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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