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Hitman (2007)
Tonight's Feature Presentation

HITMAN (2007)

Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Olga Kurylenko, Dougray Scott, Robert Knepper, Ulrich Thomsen

Written By: Skip Woods Directed By: Xavier Gens

The Shot

Based on the video game of the same title, Hitman is a by-the-numbers assassin flick with a slick layer of chrome.  It doesn’t need to make sense in order to be an easy grab for genre fans looking for something to go in one eyeball and out the other.

The Highball

What Kind Of Cheese Is It?


Light on personality, but it does the job.

Pairs Well With...


Go ahead.  Murder it.

“That suitcase perfectly holds my Blaser Sniper Rifle, two 45s, and a gag for irritating, talkative little girls like yourself.  You want me to stop and get it out?”

“I don't know.  You think we have time for foreplay?”

Based on the popular video game of the same title, Hitman is one of those adaptations that absolutely does not care whether or not you even know it started out as a game.  If you do, great!  Then the little details like the shaved heads and the bar code tattoos and the twin guns will have extra meaning for you, and you’ll be able to put on a knowing smile when you see what’s on the television screen during a hotel room sequence.  If you don’t, fantastic!  It’s an assassin flick; do you really need a map to figure out where it’s going?  Yeah; I thought not.  Which is good, because the script doesn’t bother with too many details beyond a quick little voice over and a brief flashback of bald boys at a particularly nasty parochial school, and certainly nothing as gauche as a full-on origin story.  You want to know where the man called 47 came from?  Go play the game and its sequels.

In fact, if you want to do any kind of thinking at all beyond what your old standby reptile brain gives you, go play the game and its sequels.  Hitman the movie really counts on the aforementioned notion that the audience shouldn’t need much of a map to figure out where an assassin flick is supposed to go, and therefore does very little to provide one.  The plot just barely makes sense, and even then only if one is willing to make some pretty spectacular leaps in logic.  The characters are hollow, the story is questionable, and the dialogue is laughable with pretenses at wine bar intellectualism. 

But you know what?  That’s okay.  The guns are flashy, the blades are sharp, and someone’s got a bit of fashion sense.  Sometimes that’s all an action fan is looking for.   Style over substance: your table is waiting!

From the comfort of your table, you’ll enjoy some wonderfully bloodthirsty stuff – we’re years into home video now, so of course what you’re watching is the Unrated cut with the extra crimson squibs – that spits from the barrels of twin guns and slides cleanly off the blades of some shiny swords that somehow manage to hide under finely tailored suits being worn by bald guys.  Lead bald guy Timothy Olyphant will spout off the sort of wannabe-highbrow dialogue one might expect from a campus neighborhood wine bar while never, ever changing the tone of his voice.  Future Bond lady Olga Kurylenko will shed an elegant dress while playing a much thinner version of a role she’d try again seven years later in The November Man.  “Ave Maria” will play while the film equivalents of trash mobs die.  If you’re a genre fan – of course you are, right? – the polish provided by the big screen budget will cover up a lot of sins, and even though you’ve seen better direction in action films, you’ve also seen much, much worse.  And when it’s all said and done, the eye candy will have done its job, even as you admit to yourself that in a week or so, you’ll have completely forgotten most of what you’ve just seen.

Polish can only do so much for a paper thin script, after all.

Bottom line, Hitman is straight up distraction candy and that’s all there is to it.  Sure, it’s ultimately forgettable, but it’s a fun and stylish enough ride while it’s playing.  Besides, the fact that it’s forgettable plays right into the additional fact that the blu ray now haunts the cheap bin, which means that five bucks will buy you a movie that’s easy to watch over and over again.

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- Reviewed by Ziggy Berkeley, December, 2015

You can email Ziggy at ziggy@cinemaontherocks.com. You can also find us on Facebook.


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