| November 25, 2007

Is it honestly that hard to make a decent fucking movie about a hit man who kills people? That’s all you have to do! All it needs are some decent actors, a comprehensible script, some sweet kills and BAM. You’ve got yourself a good movie. But for some odd reason, Hollywood tends to fuck up even the simplest of ideas- especially when they’re based on video games.
Hitman had all the right elements going for it, but they all went in the wrong directions. First off, this movie completes actor Timothy Olyphant’s “shitty hat trick” of the year, turning in his third bad performance in 2007 (the first two were Catch & Release and Live Free or Die Hard). There’s just something about that dude that bothers me and I can’t put my finger on it. Either he’s a shitty actor, or he just brings too much of his weird real life persona to the screen. Regardless I dig him in his earlier works like Scream 2 and The Girl Next Door. Anyway, he was terribly miscast as Agent 47. Though granted, just about any actor could play this role as long as they beefed up and didn’t talk a lot, right? Unfortunately, Agent 47 talks a shit ton in this movie which not only is out of character for the video game, but for real life badass assassins in general. They don’t make jokes, they don’t crack cheesy one-liners and they certainly don’t just walk in to bad guy hideouts with guns blazin. This flick is similar to watching a retarded screenwriter taking a literal dump all over Luc Besson’s classic The Professional. They just got it all wrong. And next up is the director.
Who the fuck is Xavier Gens and why on EARTH would the studio get an uknown to helm a high budget action flick with franchise potential? Hell, let’s just get my mother to adapt The Hobbit while we’re at it. And what little material this dude does have on his resume could be interpreted as numerous red flags. He was assistant director on such Van Damme classics as Double Team and Maximum Risk. Training with the best, eh guy? Speaking of which, the writer has no reputation either except scripting Swordfish which was a decent enough flick. But now he’s ruined Hitman for all of us (note: he’ll be ruining G.I. Joe next year) with an incoherent script that forces you to tune out everything that’s happening. The last thirty minutes are a complete blur to me, as I found myself counting the number of pieces of chewing gum stuck underneath my seat. And of course the director and writer team up to make some sort of bullshit noir piece and make it look and sound all artsy. IT’S A FUCKING VIDEOGAME, MAN! This is the same type of crap that fucked up Aeon Flux and Ultraviolet. Stop attempting to make videogames art. All you have to do is shoot it straight. Hell, you could even take the scripts from the videogame and use those instead. Anything would be better than the shit I saw in this movie.
And the acting is absolutely dreadful. The terribly spoken Dougray Scott (the annoying dude from M:I 2) does his worst as the Interpol agent after Agent 47. And yeah, there’s a whore love interest in the movie. Sure, she’s hot, and we get a couple nifty nude scenes but she’s ultimately dull and pointless to the story. And what’s with Agent 47 anyway? Throughout the movie, gorgeous women offer themselves to him and he awkwardly turns them down. Should this have been called Homo-Hitman or something? And even though we get some ridiculous flashbacks, we really don’t get much backstory as to who this dude is and where exactly he’s coming from. However, the only light shed on this movie acting-wise comes from the brilliant Robert Knepper as a double-crossing agent (widely known as T-Bag on Prison Break). This dude can act his ass off, and he was the only one that had a believable Russian accent throughout the flick.
Before I wrap this up, I have to give credit where credit is due. There are a couple nifty action scenes hidden in this monstrosity of a film. So I give thanks to the studio who hated the director’s initial cut and paid for some re-shoots to add more action. The scenes certainly weren’t enough to bring it out of B-movie Hell, but it was a step in the right direction. And this was originally intended to be a Vin Diesel movie. So the next time The Pacifier guy passes on a script… DON’T FUCKING MAKE IT!
Grade: D+

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