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  Publicity Stills of "Hitman"
(Courtesy from 20th Century Fox)

Director: Xavier Gens
Cast: Dougray Scott, Michael Offei, Olga Kurylenko, Robert Knepper, Timothy Olyphant, Ulrich Thomsen
RunTime: 1 hr 50 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: NC-16 (Violence and Nudity)
Official Website: www.hitmanmovie.com

Opening Day: 29 November 2007


Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) has been educated to become a professional assassin for hire, whose most powerful weapons are his nerve and a resolute pride in his work. 47 is both the last two digits of the barcode tattooed on the nape of his neck, and his only name.

The hunter becomes the hunted when 47 gets caught up in a political takeover. Both Interpol and the Russian military chase the Hitman across Eastern Europe as he tries to find out who set him up and why they're trying to take him out of the game. But the greatest threat to 47's survival may be the stirrings of his conscience and the unfamiliar emotions aroused in him by a beautiful, damaged girl...

Movie Review:

Maybe age is catching up with me, but violent video games like Resident Evil, Tomb Raider and Doom make me feel giddy in the head. It doesn’t help that these games feature ugly villains, mindless gun-shootings and excessive blood-spurting. Besides, I’ve never been a great fan of their movie adaptations, other than the eye candy in the forms of Milla Jovovich and Angelina Jolie. So when another movie based on a video game comes along, I was not sure whether it’d be my cup of tea.

Looking suspiciously like a Vin Diesel clone (incidentally, the muscular actor was supposed to star and produce this movie), Timothy Olyphant (Die Hard 4.0) plays Agent 47, a much sought-after assassin who gets tangled up in a political conspiracy involving the Interpol and the Russian military. As he finds out, this is not a bad thing because he gets to travel across exotic Eastern Europe and snog a hot Russian babe at the same time.

If you ask me about the plot twists, I’d say they are not that innovative – you’d probably seen better stories in Mission: Impossible movies. After a good half hour into the 100-minute action flick, you won’t be too bothered about the plot development. A note to the filmmakers: Don’t even try to intrigue things with a prologue involving a group of creepy kids getting barcodes tattooed on their shaven heads.

The grittily-filmed action sequences deliver on an acceptable level though, with their in-your-face adrenaline-driven pulses and poundings. Expect to see gun-shootouts, car chases and wounds exploding violently with blood. As compared to the video games which make me giddy, at least these are real, earning the movie its NC-16 rating. Other than the violence, our friends at the censorship board also tell us that there is nudity in the movie, thanks to Olga Kurylenko’s (the vampire babe in Paris je t’aime) portrayal of a Russian junkie who bares her assets. These sequences provide a nice breather (for guys, at least) in an otherwise rapidly-paced movie.

However, the rest of the movie is littered with badly written lines for Agent 47 like “Scream as loud as you want, even the Lord himself will not hear you” and “I told you to leave her alone, you should have listened”. While some actors have the charisma to recite absurdly-written lines (think The Rock spouting those silly dialogues), Olyphant somehow cannot carry this off. As a result, he ends up looking ridiculously bland.

For the hard core gamers, this flick may be an entertaining live-action adaptation. For viewers who enjoy violence and all things aggressively wham-bam, this will be a no-brainer sit-through. For world-weary viewers like me, this movie is just another nerve-numbing viewing experience which I’ll quickly forget a few hours after leaving the theatre.

Movie Rating:

(The action flick does not offer anything refreshing: the usual unimportant storyline and the corny lines are all in place)

Review by
John Li



. Die Hard 4.0 (2007)

. Shoot' Em Up (2007)

. Shooter (2007)

. XXX2: The Next Level (2005)

. The Contractor DVD (2007)


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