Hitman – A Review

Posted on November 27, 2007. Filed under: Reviews |

  Hitman – A Review

Shooting Blanks

Sometimes when you find a good book, you can actually imagine seeing it as a movie.  You imagine who the lead characters would be, you imagine what the sets would look like, you may even be able to pick a director for the movie.  It’s not all that different for video games.  Hitman from Eidos Interactive was a ground-breaking computer and console video game.  It helped set the stage for all “stealth” titles to follow.  I remember getting it as a Christmas present one year and spending hours and hours of my life trying to master being Agentr 47.

Upon hearing that a movie was coming out based on the video game, I felt quite torn.  I know that the track record for most video game movies has been pretty dismal (ahem…Resident Evil,Doom) and so I didn’t get my hopes too high for Hitman.  Upon hearing that Vin Diesel was the Executive Producer, my excitement grew.  Diesel is a big gaming fanatic and knows the difference between a bad game, a good game and a fantastic game (he even plays Dungeons & Dragons).  I thought that there might be some hope for this movie yet.  But knowing what makes a good game and knowing what makes a good movie are two totally different things.

Hitman is a movie about just that, a hitman.  Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant: Live Free Or Die Hard, Deadwood) was raised and trained by the church and a secret organization (aptly entitled The Organization) since his youth.  An earnest Interpol agent, Mike Whittier (Dougray Scott: Ever After, Desperate Houswives), seeks to hunt down this elusive assassin and end his career.  They play the usual game of cat and mouse as Agent 47 always finds a way to slip away whenever Whittier or another assassin gets too close.  Olga Kurylenko plays Nika Boronina, an unwitting participant in a Russian political conspiracy who tries a little too hard to be Agent 47s love interest.

The storyline, if you can follow it, is your basic “spy/assassin betrayed by their employer” fare.  The Assassin makes a hit on an important political leader.  The people contracting the Assassin send other assassins out to kill him.  The Assassin saves a woman and she helps to change his evil ways as he hunts the bad guys down and kills them.  You already know the story and how it ends.  And more than likely, you’ve seen it done better in other movies.


The first half hour or forty-five minutes have got to be one of the most confusing things I’ve ever seen on celluloid.  You’d skip from one location to the next with no story tying them all together.   I’m still scratching my head over what any of that had to do with the movie.  The action sequences, when they came, were well paced and ten years ago would have been considered inventive.  The “love story” was one of the dullest I’ve ever seen and couldn’t have been less unbelievable.  The random nudity from the leading lady was completely out of place and she actually got more attractive the more clothes she had on. 

One line in the movie did actually did stick out.  In a speech delivered by one of the villains he says, “Should we do what is necessary, what is hard, to save what we love?”  Too often, we think about answering yes before we realize how hard it may be to fight for that which we love.  At times, there are things that we think we love but when times get tough we aren’t willing to go through the difficulty of saving them. 

Thinking about this helps us to realize what is important in our lives, what we’re willing to give up for each thing we hold dear.  When it comes down to crunch time, what things are and are not willing to lose.  Every once in awhile we need to sit and think about how we prioritize things and what is most important to them.  Our families, our faiths, our own well being, what are we willing to do for each one of these things?  Fortunately, we do have real life heroes to look up to.  People who have given up everything for that which they thought was most important:  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Pat Tilman, Maximilian Kolbe.  These men and women that have come before us help us to keep in perspective that which is most important in life and what is at times necessary to save what we love.


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