A Silent Hit

Tim Oliphant as Agent 47.

Last night, I finally got to watch the Hitman movie, starring Timothy Oliphant (Deadwood, Die Hard 4.0) as the titular assassin, Agent 47, and Dougray Scott as an INTERPOL agent out to catch him. I missed this back when it first came out, and I never really got a chance to see it until now. The copy I got though was great quality and apparently the Unrated Version, which means a bit more blood (not to mention quite a bit of tasty nudity…) in the action.

Directed by Xavier Gens, the movie starts you off with a fast montage of scenes with the young 47 and other children destined to become bald-headed assassins for the mysterious ‘Organization’. Afterwards, we’re dropped in the middle of Agent 47’s latest mission, an assassination of the Russian President, Mikhail Belicoff. But while he carries out his mission with his customary dead-on accuracy, 47 soon finds himself betrayed and hunted, a beautiful and feisty lady of the night named Nika (Olga Kurylenko) tagging along for the long, bloody ride.

Unexpectedly, I actually found myself liking Hitman. The film actually does do a good job of adapting the game, at least in look, slickness and violence- it all pretty much mirrors the actual source material, from 47’s clever set-ups of his kills down to the kinetic shootouts with armored troops (who seem to have walked out of some anime). There’s even a couple of moments, showing 47 simply walking down a hall, which seem ripped out from the game- a nice nod to fans. There’s lots of violence, a bit of sexy skin and a rudimentary story enough to be entertaining for the duration of the movie.

Tim Oliphant, who showed his dark side as a baby-faced but malevolent hacker genius in Die Hard 4.0, get a bit more physical in this role. His youthful, boyish face is, admittedly, not exactly the closest to the hard-faced visage of the videogame character, but he acquits himself well by investing a bit more humanity and perhaps innocence (!) in the religious, seemingly cold hired killer. He’s no hero, of course- just someone really good at what he does, very bad-ass and not above the occasional act of mercy. That’s enough, I guess, in today’s more grey-hued world, to make a main character, where evil has to often be fought be someone less than pure or good. Dougray Scott is a suitably driven pursuing lawman, though his thick accent sometimes gets in the way.

For the most part, Hitman is an enjoyable action romp with some slick action scenes, never really slowing down too much (except in scenes between 47 and Nika, but then she’s usually getting naked or near naked, so that’s fine) or doing anything too wrong- it’s just done mostly by the numbers. What the film mostly demands though is that you believe that a tall, bald man in a black suit with a barcode behind his head who stands out in a crowd like a black hearse among white sedans can seem to be almost invisible even with armies of agents, assassins, police and soldiers looking out for him. Not a waste of time, I guess, and pretty good as videogame movies go. Who knows… I may even spring for the Blu-ray disc. Heh.

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