"Hitman" misses its mark

Nov. 27, 2007, midnight | By Lucas Alvarado-Farrar | 16 years, 4 months ago

Videogame adaption delivers little but yawns

After clicking the trigger button a countless number of times and finally beating that tricky last-level, every gamer is presented with a short animated clip explaining an unsubstantial subplot that leaves a taste of dissatisfaction. Now take that same scene, stretch it out to 100 minutes, add real people, keep that same feeling of disappointment and thus the Eidos videogame inspired film fits easily into this year's wimpy winter lineup.

The bald, contract super-killer branded "Agent 47" (Timothy Olyphant) lives in a world of perfect murder. He has been genetically altered to be the world's best assassin by a cult-like clan known only as "The Organization." The odious "Organization" has left its mark on 47; a barcode that seems to go unnoticed has been tattooed onto the back of his head. Mr. 47 tries to assume the roles of both James Bond and Jason Bourne, but is neither suave nor sophisticated like his predecessors.

The plot, which is convoluted at best, revolves around a rising Russian moderate President, Mikhail Belicoff (Ulrich Thomsen), and his attempt to solidify his power in Eastern Europe through questionable means. Somehow the shiny-headed hired hunter, Mr. 47, finds himself mixed up in this tortuous mess of political corruption. The super agent finds out he is being crossed by someone, but he's not sure who or how â€" his solution, lock and load â€" 47 gears up for more European destruction than World War II.

While on the run from Interpol, which consists of the Russian secret police and "The Organization," 47 kidnaps the dazzling hooker Nika Boronina (Olga Kurylenko). If this were a James Bond movie the pair would be between the sheets in less than two minutes. Instead this movie falls into the realm of action-packed video game movies for adolescent boys as it relies on nudity rather than passion, leaving Boronina topless in nearly every scene (they never get around to the dirty deed) and Mr. 47 behaving with as much charm and confidence as his target audience.

Both Kurylenko and Olyphant have been misguided by director Xavier Gens, who believes that blowing holes in the heads of innumerable extras will somehow inspire his audience to stick around. Instead the mind is numbed by the action as flesh and bullets fail to create cogency despite phenomenal special effects.

As the character is derived from the world of pixels, Olyphant's maneuvers must match his graphics-enhanced counterpart. Gens perfectly masters this art, creating a visual explosion of cinematographic effects â€" this is as far the movie reaches in terms of success.

From the gun in the toilet to the pinhead minions, "Hitman" reuses every action cliché in the last half century of movie making. There is a blossom of originality, however, as the tattooed killer duels it out with others of his caliber brandishing two fantasy blades and chopping the opposition to bits. As he swings his precision-targeted metal, the audience questions whether or not the rampant violence is necessary.

Throwing blood, nudity and gore onto the screen and mixing them together in hopes of success will be about as memorable as a Thanksgiving dinner made by the same process. It is only when these factors are used sparingly and intertwined with plot that a coherent (and tasty) movie (or meal) is created. The same way this meal would be left sitting out untouched by those with taste, "Hitman" will remain a movie only for players of this ultra-gory videogame, leaving others disgusted and jaded by violence. "Hitman" (100 minutes) is Rated R for violence, nudity, profanity. Now playing everywhere

Lucas Alvarado-Farrar. Lucas is half Honduran and half American, but all Mexican. He is a New York native and naturally a fan of the Bronx Bombers. Lucas is a senior in CAP, plays soccer and runs track, and likes pretty much any sports activity. He is fond … More »

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