Hitman (3/10)

To me, a film like this fails for many reasons, but neither a lack of a coherent plot, nor poor acting, nor a terrible human emotion are enough to get it a poor rating. No, when a movie like this fails, it’s not for reason that would have been foolish to expect in the first place. Whenever a film like this hits theaters (e.g. action packed with little thought behind it) it always astounds me that critics everywhere, in their reviews, act surprised that this was not the next Children of Men or The Fugitive. Anyone expecting anything other than the most immature of filmmaking deserves the rude awakening they get when walking in the theater. But for me, I didn’t want anything more than some decent action, which really isn’t all that hard to do. Hitman fails for that most egregious of sins, being given the simple task of handing us a decent platter action with minimal story as an excuse, and falling flat on its face.

Agent 47 is part of a group of assassins who have been trained since they were children and are hired out to governments all over the world, and are identifiable by a ridiculous barcode tatooed on the backs of their heads. I would have been prepared to accept this as a necessary and ridiculous plot contrivance, but the film’s failures in other ways force me to point out such idiocies as this. They’re supposed to be covert lethal weapons, yet they stand out in crowds like a sore thumb and shave their heads so the barcode is visible to all who care to look, or, if needed, perform a price check. Aside from this, the insignia for the assassination company looks like it was designed by a clerk from Hot Topic. But hey, who cares, right? The action’s gotta be good!

Wrong. There are maybe three action scenes in the whole affair, and except for one that just kinda stands out, the rest are blah. You’d think letting some blood fly and things explode wouldn’t be that difficult, but sometimes the film seems to have a split personality between PG-13 and R. Before the film was released, it was rumored that the studio was pushing for a PG-13 rating, but when fanboys loudly protested that you couldn’t have a Hitman movie with just that rating, the studios assured everyone that this was just a rumor and that the movie would, indeed, be rated R. Looking at the final cut, something tells me there was more truth to these rumors than the studios would let on. Most of the blood that we see could have easily been added in with a quick little edit here and a dash of moviemaking magic there. Nothin’ to it, but the result makes it a little slipshod and disappointingly lacking in that juicy red stuff.

The acting is another big disappointment. Timothy Olyphant, an otherwise fairly talented actor who played the mastermind in Live Free or Die Hard, plays Agent 47 like some kind of pansy. His entire game is thrown off the by the wiles of a fairly average-looking woman, and though their chemistry isn’t awful, per se, you would think such a well-trained assassin would at least be able to withstand the pleasures of a femme fatale. This is Hitman, for crying out loud, not James Bond. Olyphant is also not big enough to play the titular character. He doesn’t have the build or the charisma, and the script he’s given is just plain awful, so awful that you can tell when he’s trying his hardest to make it sound good, and it even seems like he’s in pain at several points in the movie. If Jason Statham, of Transporter fame, had been placed in the role, you can bet he would have had a hell of a lot of fun with it, but Olyphant just sits there like he’s listening to a two-hour lecture, or, even worse, watching Hitman. None of the other acting is worth mentioning – it’s all the typical bland action-cliche stuff. Nobody cheeses it up, which is practically the only thing that can redeem this type of movie.

The plot is barely even worth mentioning, other than to say that it involves a rather run-of-the-mill hit on the hitman presidential candidate assassination type deal. The soundtrack is also one of the most derivative I’ve ever heard – most of the music sounds like it would play on a Gilette commercial. A couple of the sets looked like they belonged in one of the Saw movies.

The Transporter films, as well as Statham’s Crank, showed us that you can have a terrible movie be entertaining simply through the action, but Hitman never takes these films’ advice. The one time it approaches winking cleverness occurs when he stumbles into a room and sees two children playing the video game “Hitman,” but even that is sloppily done and I don’t think anyone in the theatre understood what was happening. Hitman takes itself too seriously. It can be entertaining at times, but it just kind of angers me when a director can’t even give the public what they want with a few well-filmed and choreographed action scenes. Did he actually think we really cared that much about Agent 47’s life, or anyone onscreen’s life, for that matter? If you’re going to make such an obvious critical flop as this, do it with some style. Hitman, in the end, is just a talky, unoriginal, piece of crap that will join Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, and Resident evil in the steaming pile of video games turned into films. And to make it even sadder? Olyphant is signed on to star in Turok, another video game adaptation. Sigh.

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One Response to “Hitman (3/10)”

  1. naod adnew Says:

    I will finish hit man 2 i will free of the pope
    thanks for the Game.

    seen a picture of hit man movie to me

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