Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hitman (2007)

I enjoy watching Timothy Olyphant on 'Justified' so I took a chance with this earlier effort based on the video game of the same name.

Olyphant plays Agent 47, an assassin trained by a secret organization from birth to be the best at what he does. Through a computer link he is given his assignments. He kills, he gets out and he gets paid. Over the years this killer has become somewhat of a legend because he takes lives all over the world but leaves no traces behind.

They call him 'The Ghost'. When he is in 'kill mode' he moves almost on instinct like a robot who has been 'programmed' to use any means he can to do his job and escape capture. He is a master of both armed and unarmed combat.

For three years he has been pursued by an Interpol police officer (Dougray Scott). As the movie begins it appears Agent 47 has been betrayed and finds himself on the run. He is told that there is a witness (Olga Kurylenko from 'Quantum of Solice') to a kill that he just made but that is a lie to draw him out into the open. Despite an army of soldiers (and another bald assassin) after him, his superior skills allow him to get away alive.

You would think that after he was so openly exposed that he would hide or leave Russia (the location of his last hit) but instead he finds the 'witness' against him and turns his attention and skills towards finding out who set him up.

That is a dangerous thing for a highly trained and valuable asset to do. His whole value as an assassin rests on the fact that he is NOT caught or exposed. The movie provides little explanation for his reckless behavior. You would think that his 'training' would have eliminated any kind of free will on his part.

For some reason, when 47 starts spending time with the girl who supposedly saw his face and was the witness against him, he starts to question who he is and doesn't take the lives of two of the cops chasing after him. This goes against everything he has been trained to do.

One thing I thought was weird is the bar code that the 'Organization' tattoos on the back of their assassin's heads. With a head shaved bald, the tattoo is a a dead give-a-way for anyone looking to arrest these killers. Might as well put a light bulb above his head and a sign that reads, "Hey cops. Here I am!"

I know it sounds kinda stupid but I liked this movie. Even with the constraints of having to remain true to it's video game roots it told an enjoyably violent story.

It can be confusing to follow but it has some nice cinematography and great action scenes - like the one in the crowded train car when Agent 47 is threatened by three of his fellow assassins who try to kill him 'old school' using swords. It's a neat little bit of choreography.

Let's face it, you don't go to a movie like this to learn about how the catholic church trains assassins - you watch it for the action and this movie delivers the goods in a slick and enjoyable way.

1 comment:

JS@NYC said...

I watched this movie right before joining grad school, (last movie for many months after that :) ) - I had great fun watching it - it's an entertainer !