Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Movie Review: "Hitman" (2007)

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Movie"Hitman"
Director: Xavier Gens
Year: 2007
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) is a hitman and has been hired to assassinate the Russian president, but when he finds he has been set up as a target and the patsy of part of a larger conspiracy to overthrow the Russian government, he turns his attack towards the one who hired him. 

"Hitman" is a film adaptation of a video game of the same name and one we had never seen or even paid attention to until it was announced there was to be a reboot of the franchise. Now, video game-based movies don't have the best track record in Hollywood. Films like "Super Mario Brothers" and any of the many video game based abominations done by Uwe Boll have certainly tainted the genre. Though there manages to be an occasional fan favorite like "Resident Evil," more often than not, these adaptations are stinkers. Luckily, "Hitman" is closer to the latter rather than the former. We won't pretend it's some masterful piece of cinema because, let's face it, it's not, but with a 14% on Rotten Tomatoes and a middle of the road 6.3 on IMDb, our expectations were obviously low. This film does manage to be pretty entertaining for what it is, a movie where a hitman goes rogue, so to speak, and turns his training, skills and anger on those that hired him. Sure, Timothy Olyphant probably wasn't the best, most perfect choice for Agent 47, but he's not completely terrible either. He is often very stiff and unnatural, though we have a hunch this could have been intentional to match the movements of his respective video game character. Unfortunately, if it was intentional, it was a poor choice by him or the director as video game characters only move in such a manner because animating natural looking human movement is very difficult to accomplish. When translated to the big screen, he looks pretty silly and clunky walking around with stiff shoulders and a neck that barely moves. Joining Olyphant is Olga Kurylenko, who plays the Russian president's prostitute girlfriend Nika. The character of Nika seems almost entirely superfluous and her only real purpose is to walk around on screen naked, but this wouldn't be the first time a female was cast to simply be a prop for the male gaze, regardless if her character is in the video game or not. The story is also a little convoluted and the plot doesn't make a whole lot of sense. That being said, this film has some really good action sequences and a lot of fight scenes filled with some hard R-borderline unrated violence that is quite the visual spectacle. We're not sure what existed in the R-rated version of the movie since we saw the unrated one, but there were definitely a few squirms from ridiculous blood squibbs. These are the moments that really make this film worth watching for the action film fans of the world, but on the flip side, there are some unfortunate action sequences that feel wholly staged and super fake. If you're a fan of the video game, there's really a 50/50 chance you'll like this movie depending on how tolerant you are of the above gripes. The story may not be totally enthralling or suspenseful and the acting isn't anything to write home about, but it's a mindless, fun ride none the less.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 14%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
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One year ago, we were watching: "Obvious Child"

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