Bred to be an emotionless
assassin and given only a number as a name, Agent 47 (Olyphant) is assigned
the most dangerous and almost impossible targets by the Agency. When his
latest mark, current Russian president Mikhail Belicoff (Thomsen) is seen
to have survived the hit man's bullet through the head, he is sent to clear
up the mess by killing the only witness to his attempt, Belicoff's girlfriend
Nika (Kurylenko). As he closes in, he realises that he has become the target
by his own Agency, but as Interpol agent Mike Whittier (Scott) closes in,
he has to discover why they want him and Nika dead.
It can be argued
that there has never been a good adaptation of a video game but can 'Hitman'
hit the target?
Video game adaptations
have never really captured the essence of their subject matter. Some have
come close like 'Silent Hill', 'Mortal Kombat' and the 'Tomb Raider' movies
but then you have the awful 'Super Mario Bros.', 'Street Fighter', 'Double
Dragon' and 'Doom' and that is before you even mention the travesties directed
by Uwe Boll ('House of the Dead', 'Alone in the Dark' and every other movie
he has ever made). The record is not very good so 'Hitman' has a lot of
baggage to kill off. The good news is that 'Hitman' is one of the best game
adaptations to come along but that in itself is not a huge compliment.
The Eidos video
game is another game that leads itself to the cinematic treatment. The premise
of an assassin bred from the DNA of the world most vicious and skilled killers
and raised to be the perfect, emotionless soldier that is used as a weapon
in the fight against evil is one that makes not just a good game but a good
plot for a movie. For the most part director Xavier Gens and his creative
team take this premise and run with it to create an action movie that hits
more times than it misses but it still misses the target on occasion.
is Agent 47 and the actor, best known for his leading role in the HBO series
'Deadwood' and playing the villain in 'Die Hard 4.0/Live Free or Die Hard',
embraces the role and adopts the trademark shaven head and barcode. He definitely
has the look, even though he looks a little young and embraces the action
of the character with great gusto, it is some of the awful lines in the
script that let him down. The rest of the cast don't fair much better in
the dialogue depart but there are some decent performances. Dougray Scott
plays the good guy for once as Interpol agent Mike Whittaker, 'Prison Break's'
Robert Knepper puts on his best Russian accent as Yuri Marklov and Olga
Kurylenko spends most of the picture half naked to draw in the target male
With some good action
set pieces and a lead character that is slightly different to your typical
action hero, 'Hitman' is a good action film in its own right and can be
viewed by any fan of the genre, not just people who love the game. It definitely
hits the mark more that it misses but it still isn't the perfect video game
adaptation that fans have been waiting for.
Presented in Widescreen
2.35:1 Anamorphic with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the transfer is good.
In the Crosshairs
Director Xavier Gens, producers Adrian Askarieh and Pierre-Ange Le Pogan,
production designer Laurent Bares and stars Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott,
Olga Kurylenko, Robert Knepper and Ulrich Thomsen take you behind the scenes
of the video game adaptation of 'Hitman'. The group talk about transferring
the game to script, the importance of story, casting, the characters and
their relationships, recreating the look of the game, the international
setting and the group talk about working with the director. This is a good
featurette that covers most aspects of the film's production.
Director Xavier Gens, producers Adrian Askarieh, Timothy Olyphant and Dougray
Scott are joined by the people behind the game and game critics talk about
the impact of the game, its structure and how it lends itself to movie adaptation.
Destruction (14.28 mins)
Weapons coordinator Christopher Maratier and stars Timothy Olyphant and
Dougray Scott talk about the weapons used by Agent 47 and the rest of the
characters including Para-ordnance P18.9, Blaser R93 Lasz, M16, FN F2000,
Micro Uzi and M240.
Gag Reel (4.54
Watch Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott and the rest of the cast have fun
on the set and make a hash of their lines.
Entitled 'Ovie's pool scene', 'hospital scene', 'a different train platform',
'Udre's death' and 'alternative ending', these deleted or alternate scenes
suffer from the lack of an introduction or commentary track to explain why
it was removed.
The DVD treatment
for 'Hitman' is fine but not as good as could be. While the featurettes
are very good however, the lack of a commentary track will come as a disappointment
to fans. This is still a decent DVD package however and one that fans should
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