Hitman fails to hit the mark

Lousy script, poor characterizations plague film

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Timothy Olyphant and Olga Kurylenko in Hitman

Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko, Robert Kneeper
Directed by: Xavier Gens

2 stars

With hard-hitting, adrenaline-pumping movies like Crank and The Transporter setting the standard, it is difficult to create an original take on the run-and-gun formula these movies embrace. Hitman fails to create the rush needed to keep the movie going in a genre full of violence, seductive women, and mad chase scenes.

Fans of the game series Hitman on which the movie is based will be disappointed the film does not follow the origins and storyline of the original game.

In the game, the player is Agent 47, a clone bred for killing, guiding him through various “hits.”

However, in the film, Agent 47 (Olyphant) is an orphan trained from a young age in the arts of espionage, hand-to-hand combat, and of course, marksmanship.

The film begins with Agent 47 in the house of Inspector Mike Whittier (Scott), who poses the question, “How does a good man decide when to kill?”

The film then jumps back three months to when Agent 47 was contracted to kill the Russian President, with Inspector Whittier hot on his heels. The job quickly turns into a setup, and thus, the movie’s plot and action begin as Agent 47 sets out to uncover the web of lies and betrayal.

The action scenes of the movie are well done, but it has all been done before (i.e. The Matrix, Equilibrium). Hitman’s sword fights, gun battles and SWAT team chases are nothing new. But a prolonged car chase and a steamy sex scene with a surprise ending between Agent 47 and his psuedo-captive Nika (Kurylenko) are still worth watching.

Olyphant does not do Agent 47 any justice. Instead of showing the moral issues involved with systematic killings, his indifferent nature and inability to evoke sympathy through his acting significantly hinders the emotional capacity of the film.

Agent 47’s childhood flashbacks triggered by the tattoo on Nika’s face are all attempts to show that he is human and not just a killing machine. Yet this comes off as a cheesy attempt to conceal Hitman’s horrible script and the lack of chemistry between Agent 47 and Nika.

Agent 47’s inconsistent persona becomes grating. One moment he’s sedating Nika to get her off of him and the next he’s rubbing her cheek as if they had been together for years.

At times, Hitman is fast-paced and exciting, but the long periods of downtime, awful script and lack of chemistry fail to excite, making for another poor Hollywood production.

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