Monday, November 26, 2007


Well, as promised, here’s a review of Hitman. I wasn’t really expecting this to be anything worth watching, judging by the past pedigree of movies based on video games (the best I had seen thus far was Silent Hill, and even that’s only likely to appeal to horror fans). Moreover, it was by a director I had never heard of, and starred Timothy Olyphant, a man I’ve never really been all that impressed by. Still, despite all that, I had a free pass to see it, and damn if I wasn’t going to use it.

All that said, this was actually a pretty fun movie. For an action movie, there are surprisingly few big action sequences, the film wisely preferring to focus instead on exploring the world of the mysterious organization that raises people like Olyphant from birth to be assassins, and how they would operate when forced to live in the real world. The best part of this are easily his interactions with Nika, a prostitute he rescues early on and then takes along with him “for her protection”. Trained to be a perfect killing machine, he has no idea what to do with a woman, and her attempt to seduce him leads to the film’s greatest payoff.

Somewhat less impressive are the action scenes. An early throwdown as he tries to escape a hotel swarming with Russian police works well, as does the big climax, but the battles in between aren’t so good. He randomly engages in a sword fight with several other hitmen from the Organization in a train station that just seems randomly thrown in for fear that the audience will revolt without enough action, as does a later scene at an arms dealer’s. When it focuses more on Olyphant’s interactions with Nika, or his cat and mouse game with an Interpol agent trying to arrest him, the film works a good deal better. I guess this is one of those movies that’s just kind of trapped by its genre into being a bit less than it could have been.

Rating: ***

No comments: