It is very rare that we come across an actual entertaining film based on a video game. We have all seen the unimpressive "Tomb Raider" of 2001. We have all felt nauseous sitting through every Uwe Boll video game movie on the planet. We have all gotten up and walked out of that "Resident Evil" trash. The list of bad video game films is endless. However, "Hitman" uses something no other video game movie even thinks about incorporating into a script or camera shot, originality. This film is entertaining and is probably the best video game film ever made. That isn't saying much at all really, but it is still worth writing down.
I mentioned how bad Uwe Boll is as a director and how much pain and suffering he can cause an audience to have. But director Xavier Gens did nothing but entertain me in the 94 minutes he gives us of non stop action. He directs with style and accuracy keeping everything as true to the video game as possible. Does the film stay entirely true? Not really. I would have preferred more dressing up from Agent 47 (played by Timothy Olyphant). Not only that, but perhaps a deeper story about how he was raised and became who he is.
Here is a little background on Agent 47 for those not familiar with the video game. He was an orphan chosen by a secret organization to become this stealthy military fighter. He is trained with weapons, fighting, explosives and tactics. He receives his objectives from a voice in a laptop and is paid large sums of money when he kills his targets. Sound familiar?
The film has no real concrete storyline and it is pretty well been done before. Agent 47 is a lone gun for hire who find his next assignment to be more than he bargained for. His assignment is to kill Mikhail Bellicoff (Ulrich Thompson) who is destined to be the next president of Russia. When he is assassinated by 47 an apparent witness named Nikka (Olga Kurylenko) indentifies him and sends 47 on the run from his own agency with the girl. The plot later thickens with the return of Bellicoff and sends 47 is a situation where he is set up by his client who requested that he kill Bellicoff. Through all this turmoil, 47 is on the run from an agent from London's Interpol (Dougray Scott) who has been chasing after him for three months. The plot develops quickly and unless your mind moves at a hundred miles a minute it does get a little confusing. There is one particular part where 47 confronts Bellicoff and he says to 47 "You are not ruining my future plans for this country". What are his plans? Why is he bent on becoming president? I guess those are questions I'm not supposed to ask.
"Hitman" does have good action sequences. Scenes where Agent 47 takes out 6 men in an elevator with two pistols or when he engages in a sword fight with other members of his secret organization. One particular action scene (which was one of the deciding factors to my score given to the film) which really caught my eye is when 47 engages in a gunfight with seven other men and walks away bloody and bruised. Originality plays a part in this film. I was expecting it to just be another brawny video game hero extravaganza. But, at times, I got the opposite. I enjoyed the fact that 47 could feel pain and had pain inflicted to him. Even emotional pain is felt by 47 when he can't even connect with Nikka. I did feel for him as a viewer. I was somewhat intrigued that I actually connected with a video game character and not with a character like Clive Owens in "Children of Men".
Despite having a confusing storyline and a mediocre script (written by Skipp Woods), "Hitman" is a very entertaining film. Will it be in my top 10 for the year? Not a chance. The film is good in all of the ways a video game movie should be, not an actual film. For being what it is and having an entertaining side to it, "Hitman" ends on a rather positive not. I just pray to God that this isn't reason to start preparations for a sequel.
Review by Anthony Feor from the Internet Movie Database.