Because nothing says a Saturday night for me like, “Whee, let’s blow some shit up and shoot some people!”
Okay, so I have to admit, I am a little biased. I’ve been waiting to see Hitman for quite literally over a year.
Hitman is based on a series of very popular video games of the same title. I was never a huge fan of the games as I found them extraordinarily tedious at times, but the basic premise is this: The hitman in question is a genetically engineered man by the name of Agent 47 – he has no “real” name. He works for an entity called The Agency (known as The Organization” in the film) which is essentially a professional mercenary/assassin service.
I must admit that I wasn’t expecting anything from Hitman. Some good explosions, perhaps, and some nice gun battles. I’m relatively easy to please and once I realized that no, they were not going to cast Vin Diesel in this movie, I was pretty excited to see what they could do with it. Yes, I first heard about this movie way back yonder and then for quite a while Vin Diesel was attached to the project. If you’re wondering if Hollywood’s got some undeniable creativity issues, it’s that when they started casting Hitman, they probably thought of the most well-known already bald actor they could find. Never you mind, moviegoer, that Vin Diesel looks absolutely nothing like Agent 47.
I actually have quite a fondness for brainless action movies and I’m not quite sure why.
Here’s what I like about Hitman: Timothy Olyphant nailed Agent 47. Not that it’s difficult to play this guy, but he even got down the guy’s walk from the video game. He has the right face on for it too and Olyphant hits his mark every single time. The cinematography and lighting is fantastic and all of the special effects have been remarkably well done.
Of course, it will never win any Oscars, but it was entertaining, to say the least.
I will say that you have to suspend a lot of disbelief in order to enjoy it. Remarkably, Agent 47 robotically makes his way through the film with not a single person noticing he’s got this enormous barcode tattooed on his head. Even worse, it’s tattooed off-center. I spent half the film horrified that not once does anyone think there’s anything odd about some tall bald guy in an impeccably tailored suit wandering around with an off-center barcode tattooed on the back of his head, which probably means I have some sort of obsessive-compulsive disorder. (And I wonder what his head scans as at the self-checkout at Wal-Mart. I’m simple-minded, folks.)
Also, very little is explained about this fancy-schmancy organization, which is not necessary, but it does leave you wondering — who are these people who can finance such a thing? And genetically engineering bald-headed dudes and tattooing them with barcodes? Doesn’t that make your assassins a bit obvious?
For once, however, it’s nice to see a main character in an action film turn out to be exactly what he’s billed as — a cold assassin — and the lack of witty quips helps, too. Bruce Willis cornered the market on that in Die Hard and I’m so sick of hearing stupid jokes that Hollywood writers think is funny after Action Hero Du Jour blows some shit up and manages to stay alive.
So if action flicks are your thing, I”d recommend this one; if not, approach with caution. (I bought the special edition and don’t regret it in the slightest, which is saying something.)