Hitman (2007)

Hitman is a 2007 action film based on the video game of the same title. It is directed by Xavier Gens, and stars Timothy Olyphant as Agent 47, the protagonist. 47 is a hitman, who takes out targets sent to him by a secret organization. He is eventually double-crossed by the organization and begins a search to find out why. Along the way, a couple of big action scenes take place in order to stop the viewer from getting bored.

Agent 47, an orphan, was raised by this secret organization. He has been trained to be a killer, or at least that is what can be gathered from the well-done opening scene. As the opening credits roll, you get a grim picture as to what life is like being raised by the organization. It’s no fun, and is displayed in such a way. The opening is, in a way, deceiving. It’s of quite high quality, something that cannot be said about the rest of the film.

After the opening scene, you see a man enter his house, only to be told to sit down by 47. 47 has entered his home, and depending on how the man answers a question, his family will either live or die. The film then flashes back three months, and shows someone getting blown up with C4. The man from earlier is apparently tracking 47, and has been for years now. Soon, 47 has to take an assassination mission, and is required to kill a Russian citizen. (I believe he was important, but the film doesn’t really go into detail about him.) He ends up getting betrayed, and ends up on a quest to find out the reasoning behind this betrayal. Along the way, he teams up with a girl named Nika. She’s an interesting character, giving the only emotional performance in the entire film.

Now, I’m not going to say that Timothy Olyphant’s performance was poor, in fact, it’s likely spot on. 47 is an emotionally cold killer, so it only fits that his character has few, if any emotions. For the most part, the ones he does possess are withdrawn from the real world. As such, his character doesn’t develop throughout the film. Nika (played by Olga Kurylenko), on the other hand, gives an emotional performance, has a decent story behind her, and developed over the course of the movie. Apart from the two leads, everyone else gave an average performance, but nothing spectacular or noteworthy. I honestly cannot remember many of the characters. That doesn’t really speak highly towards the film, as it means that it becomes forgotten after it ends.

Hitman is not a good movie. It’s boring, forgettable, and features characters that you neither care about, nor want to see make it through to the end.

A large reason for being completely forgettable is that, for an action film, it is actually fairly boring. There is only one action scene that really comes to mind when thinking about Hitman, and that’s only memorable due to it being incredibly silly. Exciting to watch, but on the whole fairly meaningless and likely should have been choreographed much better. The actions scenes end up having hardly any meaning, as you already know how they end. Since almost the entire film takes place in the past, with 47 and a man sitting in a house, you know how it inevitably ends. This takes away all tension from the action scenes, and is why having an entire film take place in a flashback doesn’t work all that well as a plot device.

Speaking of the plot, it ends up being fairly non-existent. It basically is there solely to allow for 47 to go to places and kill people. Now, this works fairly well in games, because the person playing is having fun doing the killing. The action scenes in games allow the player to be distracted from a lackluster plot, but in movies, a coherent plot is usually required. Hitman doesn’t have one, making the entire thing fairly hard to follow, even though it isn’t all that complex. It’s just that nobody cares enough to follow it.

Hitman is not a good movie. It’s boring, forgettable, and features characters that you neither care about, nor want to see make it through to the end. Timothy Olyphant does make a convincing agent 47, but playing an emotionally cold character makes it hard for anyone to care about him. In its truest form, Hitman is truly embodied by its lead. Emotionally cold, and a film that nobody wants to care about. It makes no attempts to draw you in, and even if you force yourself to stay awake through the boring and forgettable action scenes, it cannot hold your interest.

Conclusion: Hitman is another poor video game adaptation.

Recommendation: Slice it open with piano wire and never watch Hitman.

Rating: *1/2

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