[31/31: The Movie | Part 24] Hitman (2007) - Critical Kate Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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[31/31: The Movie | Part 24] Hitman (2007)

Hitman is yet another videogame adaptation that commits the unforgivable movie crime of being boring. Or to put it another way: it might not be a bad film overall, but it says a lot that the only truly bad scene in Hitman is also the only memorable scene in Hitman.

Agent 47 is an orphan raised from a young age to be an expert hitman. His next scheduled hit is on Russian President Mikhail Belicoff, and he's been asked to make sure the hit is very public. Everything goes as planned, but the next day Belicoff is suddenly on live television announcing that he is fine. Agent 47 is understandably confused. And now,  the agency that Agent 47 worked for has a hit out on him.

The main problem is that we're never given a reason to root for or relate to Agent 47 until the very end of the movie. And because we're not invested in the character, we don't really care about what's happening to him. Maybe if the character had been played by a star actor that audiences were already familiar with, so that there'd already be that established emotional connection.

Incidentally, Hitman was originally developed as a vehicle for Vin Diesel, who is credited as Executive Producer. Instead, he passed it on to Timothy Olyphant, who is perhaps best known for his role in the series Deadwood. But without the facial hair he looks a little too baby-faced, which makes him look kind of young for the role.

Olyphant does have right sort of generic, forgettable face that would benefit an assassin who doesn't want to be easily recognized -- you probably don't remember him as the villain in Live Free Die Hard, or his character in Scream 2 -- but Agent 47 never tries to disguise himself anyways, so it's a wasted opportunity. 

How does Agent 47 ever manage to blend in with crowds anyways, with his striking bald head and the barcode tattooed on the back of it? But I"m sure that question has been asked many times.

The studio apparently wasn't happy with French director Xavier Gens' cut of the film, and asked for it to be reworked, reportedly without Gens' involvement. This executive meddling is what resulted in the worst scene in the movie. It plays out like this:

In a subway car, Agent 47 and another suited enemy pull out dual pistols on each other. Spontaneously, two more suited men with dual pistols appear from nowhere, and for unknown reasons point their pistols at both men (they're all after Agent 47, so why are they pointing guns at each other?). Agent 47 calmly suggests: "How about we die with a little dignity?" Somehow they all know exactly what this means, and simultaneously put their guns away and pull out identical sets of blades. WHAT?

To be fair, it's unlikely Gens' cut of the film would've been that much better. For one, the original ending he filmed is nearly as bad as the original ending to Kevin Smith's Clerks where Dante was going to be shot and killed during a robbery.

It's also unlikely that his cut would've fixed any of the film's plot holes.

 

SPOILERS BELOW

 

It's eventually revealed that President Belicoff has a number of body doubles, and he put the hit out on one of his own doubles. Why would he do this. It's hinted that he thought a full recovery from assassination would make him seem more powerful, but why would he thinks this is a good idea? Even worse, we're never shown that it had much effect at all on public opinion of him, so what exactly led him to believe it'd be worth sacrificing one of his expensive doubles? The entire plot hinges on this idiotic plot point.

Why does Belicoff want the agency to dispose of Agent 47 after the assassination? Is it because he doesn't want anyone to know that the assassination was actually as success? If so, how does Belicoff plan to dispose of the people who run the agency, since they would also know the hit was a success? How does Belicoff convince the agency that they should get rid of Agent 47? How does Belicoff convince the agency to lie to Agent 47 about someone witnessing his previous assassination? Was the agency already planning to get rid of Agent 47 when they asked him to kill the "witness"? If so, why would they try to get one more hit out of him before getting rid of him? The only way any of the agency's actions would make sense is if Belicoff paid them a large sum of money...but then why wouldn't he just pay off Agent 47 as well?

Sometimes it seems like it's too much to ask that a movie just make sense.

 

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