Reviews// Hitman (Movie)

Posted 14 Dec 2007 12:00 by
Let's get this out of the way at the beginning; I, and indeed all of us at SPOnG, thought that the wrong person was cast as Agent 47. Jason Statham was SPOnG's ideal candidate for the role, not Timothy Olyphant.

That said, the film didn't turn out as badly as I thought it would. It's not a great film by any standards, but it could have been so much worse.

The titles give us an abbreviated view of 47's childhood. Ditching the clone approach, we find out that 47 was one of a set of orphans adopted by a secret society and trained to be perfect assassins. They were taught fighting and weapon skills, shaved, barcoded, dressed in smart suits and sent out into the world to kill whoever they were told to. Leaving aside the change in origins, this sequence does a good job of explaining 47's background.

After a quick introduction to Interpol officer Mike Whittier (Dougray Scott) who is surprised and questioned by 47 in his London home, we jump back three months to the actual story of the film. This 'in medias res' ('In the middle of things'. Latin Ed.) approach to the start of the film feels contrived, as if a focus group didn't like the actual introduction and a new scene was written, split up and added into the movie.

The actual introduction of of the movie sees 47 take out an African warlord by blowing him and his henchmen up with a bomb implanted in a man being dragged in for "questioning" with a machete.

We are then re-introduced to Agent Whittier and his partner who, we are told, have been trailing 47 for three years and have linked him to over 100 murders around the globe.

The meat of the movie starts with 47's contact, Diana, bringing him the news that his next job has been moved up and changed to be more public. This news is, of course, delivered via 47's laptop using presentation very similar to that used in the game. Pay attention here since it's one of the few things that the movie does "right" with respect to the game. It's also funny to see the initials ICA (International Contract Agency) on the interface when The Agency is referred to as "The Organsiation" in the movie.

If asked, Statham would have told Timothy, "Rule #1. Never change the deal." However, Jason wasn't asked and 47 accepts the altered contract. Predictably when he completes his public assassination, things start to go wrong; Diana informs him that there was a witness and when he goes to correct this mistake, an attempt is made on his life. The rest of the film concerns 47's attempts to find out what is going on, why he's been targeted for assassination and how he can set things right.
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