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Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Hitman

There's no real reason why movies based on video games have to have bland and generic stories - they just do. It's tempting to suggest that it has something to do with the nature of the games themselves: if games only need simple, straight-forward storylines to hang their action on, then that's why their movie versions are so simplistic. But then surely the writers and directors could fill in the space left by the games' simple story with unique and interesting material? Whatever the reason, Hitman is a perfectly serviceable action thriller that ends up a boring chore to watch thanks to the determination of the behind-the-camera crew to make a movie containing no original material whatsoever. 47 (Timothy Olyphant, who does his best with almost nothing to work with) has been trained since childhood to be the world's deadliest assassin, but when he's betrayed by his employers over a botched (or is it?) attempt to kill the Russian president, he has to kill a whole bunch of people so... well, so he can then kill a whole bunch more people. With a plot stitched together Frankenstein's monster-style from a dozen better movies it can't really fail, but eventually the complete lack of originality starts to sink in and once your attention wanders you start to ask inconvenient questions. Like why does a supposedly untraceable hitman have a shaved head with a barcode tattooed across the back of it when it makes him instantly recognisable? And why does a super-secret organisation of killers stamp their logo on all their tools of the trade? If you've never seen an action movie before in your life, then you'll enjoy this; otherwise, go watch The Professional again.


Anthony Morris

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