Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
The trailers were enticing enough; bald man clips untold number of baddies with big silver guns. What else could a testosterone laden American male need on a Sunday night in between broadcast and cable seasons? As it turns out, not much. One pretty much knows what he, or she, is getting into with a movie like Hitman (2007), expecting anything more is foolish and a sure receipt for disappointment.
Directed by Xavier Gens (I know, who?) Hitman's formula is one that has been regurgitated time and time again: a man-doesn't really matter who-is at the top of his game-doesn't really matter what-and is betrayed by the people he works for. Now he must win the day through seeming insurmountable odds with a pretty counterpart by his side, who, incidentally starts out hating him, but half way through the film can't wait to have him underneath her. Formula complete.
The man in this instance has no name but goes by the title Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant - Scream 2, Doppelganger, Deadwood), and the woman is Nika (Olga Kurylenko - Max Payne, Quantum of Solace). Agent 47 who has a bar code on the back of his head, works for a shadowy outfit called The Organization. They bred him from birth (he was an orphan) to do one thing: kill and kill well, with any number of instruments including, guns, knives, swords, poison, belts, wires, and his hands of course. On a job he is double-crossed for reasons not adequately spelled out in the movie and now is on the run-but not really-killing any number of men sent to snuff him out, including his fellow Agents and various innocent law enforcement officers. Agent 47 is an equal opportunity killer.
Nika is a supposed to have witness his latest assignation, but of course she didn't; she is a victim and so Agent 47 must save her.
If viewed through the lens of an action movie genre, Hitman is one of the best I have seen in quite some time, sort of a non-thinking man's James Bond with a much higher and indiscriminate body count. There was sort of a plot involving body doubles, but it tried to be too smart and lost credibility 1/3 of the way through the movie. As did the sub-plot involving an International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) agent named Mike Whittier (Desperate Housewives, Heist), who sanders into foreign countries claim jurisdiction over crime scenes; I didn't know Interpol had that sort of pull. Turns out it doesn't.
And of course that the problem with Hitman, if one expect more from the movie that just blood and bullets; much of the plot doesn't make sense, nor does most of the dialog which is inane even for a movie in this genre. Agent 47 is an automaton in the worse sense in that he cannot even muster up enough emotion to bed the girl when the opportunity presents itself, or in this case climbs on top of him half naked. Please!
Did I mention that Hitman is based on a video game? At least the action is fast paced, the gun battles are sufficiently noisy, and the hand-to-hand combat scenes are well choreographed and exciting to watch. The acting as far as it went was fine for the most part as long as no one was required to say much. Luckily, Olyphant doesn't have much more to do except look severe and wave multiple weapons around, many of which were guns, and shoot them. He and the lithe Ukrainian beauty Kurylenko make a nice-looking couple, though, and she at least made for compelling eye candy even though their story line is mostly contrived and whole incomprehensible.
Hitman is just about what you'd expect when a video game makes the leap to the big screen; the translation is all muddled and such. But from a purely shoot-em' up standpoint the movie does not disappoint, that is if mindless, wanton violence with a little nudity thrown in for good measure in your cup of Sunday night tea.
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Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age