Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Written by Pollo Misterioso
For a video gamer, Hitman was one of the first games that allowed you to become a stylish killer in a black suit with a red tie that killed for no reason at all and was given a loose structure, allowing you to play in many different ways. As a movie Hitman takes the man in the black suit and tie and makes violence and espionage stylish, sexy, brutal, and relentless. I guess it transfers to the silver screen.
From director Xavier Gens comes the film version of the popular videogame, Hitman. Starring Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard) as Agent 47, this film definitely caters to the videogame viewer, but is also well made, considering the story belongs to the narrative world of interactive gaming.
Within the opening credits, we are introduced to the world of cloned assassins. From a young age, apparently without parents, these young orphans are trained in the art of killing, ultimately resulting in a high-performance killer that goes by a number that is tattooed on the back of their heads.
Sent on missions through a computer database, Agent 47 must kill the Russian president Mikhail Belicoff. But things go wrong and it turns out that he has been set up. It is now his mission to find out who did this and kill them, of course. Agent 47 picks up his female companion, Nika, after she is used as bait to set him up. It is not that they are romantically involved, but she does allow him to show some mercy towards his enemies and she walks around naked. Both necessary in a movie like this.
So there isn’t much of a plot in this film. There is a definite target and obstacle that our hero must overcome, but no real substance behind any of the killing. That brings us to the violence—and it never looked better. Although there are only a handful of fight sequences, they are the most interesting. Along the lines of the film Shoot em’ Up, this movie is as deep as its title. Therefore, violence is the necessary glue that will keep it together. This includes the fight scene among other hit men in a train cab with swords.
Olyphant’s portrayal of Agent 47 is impressive, given that he must capture a mood, more than a character. His face has the perfect hint of aggression and indifference to it—as though no death affects him. He plays a character that has such a fan base in the game world that he has much to live up to and it works.
For gamers, this film could have too much plot. Especially since in the original game Agent 47 was never really given any storyline. For filmgoers, there really isn’t much a plot at all. But for what it is, it succeeds. This is a stylish and sleek film based off a video game, where our hero is not a very admirable hero, but he knows how to kill and he looks good doing it.
The DVD extras on this film are definitely worth looking into. Most interesting are the three segments: “Digital Hits,” “Instruments of Destruction,” and “Settling the Score.” “Digital Hits” talks about the videogame and interviews the creators of the Hitman world. “Instruments” actually gets into the gun technique and different guns used in the film. The “Score” segment talks about the original score that was created, which is very interesting because the score pairs so nicely with the film. There are also behind the scenes and bloopers on the DVD that are always fun to watch.