Thursday, July 10, 2008

Video Game Movie Review: Hitman

The first thing to note about Hitman is that it is not directed, produced or written by Uwe Boll. So, it’s not a low budget poorly executed pile of crap. That doesn’t mean it’s good, and Hitman is far from good. In fact, I might even go as far to say it’s bad. It’s really hard to say what the movie is about because it has a very small amount of plot. Now, I would say that it is difficult to make a good film about a hitman, but the Bourne movies were good, so one might expect Hitman to be decent. One would be wrong though.

Hitman begins with shots of "The Organization" raising kids with barcodes on their heads and presumably training them to be killers. Agent 47, the protagonist, is introduced. He is a snappy dresser and a mass murder. In the beginning of the movie, they actually tried to give him a little bit of character. Some woman was trying to hit on him in a bar, and she asked him his name. He got awkward and scared and ran away. They didn’t really follow up with any sort of characterization until later in the movie where he again was scared of a woman. I thought that was an interesting idea – an action hero who is intimidated by women because all he knows is killing. Unfortunately, that was about the only thing that was interesting in the film.

Besides these small glimpses into character, everything about the movie was completely cliché. Agent 47 is an amoral hitman who apparently isn’t burdened with a conscience or any sort of personality. He only does anything slightly resembling the right thing because he was framed. There was another really clichéd character, the prostitute with a heart of gold. Well, at least I assumed she had a heart of gold, but she didn’t really do anything good. There might have been something about how she was driven into prostitution because of something bad that made her a sympathetic character. I don’t remember what it was though.

Obviously they weren’t trying to make Schindler’s List, so you are probably waiting for me to stop complaining about the terrible plot and start commenting on the action. Well, the action wasn’t bad, but nothing new or interesting. I think it’s adequate, but there’s really nothing about it worth recommending. They had obligatory fight scenes and shooting, but it was very average. The fact that there was nothing interesting or appealing about the characters or the story really makes the action less appealing. Certainly there are plenty of movies that make up for terrible plots with completely over the top fight sequences (like Die Hard with a Vengeance), but this is not one of those movies.

Production Values: 4.0 – Certainly not an Uwe Boll shoestring budget, but it’s not a summer blockbuster.

Story: 6.5 – It was quite bad, but not in the same league as Uwe Boll. Honestly, it’s not much worse that typical Hollywood action schlock.

Action: 4.0 – There was some, but it wasn’t really noteworthy.

Faithfulness to the video game source: 5.0 – I haven’t played the games, but they didn’t seem to have much of a plot either. They have some of the same elements, but the video games seemed to actually have more of a plot!

Laughs: 5.0 – I did find some of it funny, but I had to really work to find it funny.

Total Turds: 5.0 - I only saw the movie a month ago, and I’m really scratching my head to remember anything about it. There was nothing really memorable about it, but it wasn’t quite as terrible as most video game adaptations. Stay clear unless the alternative is watching an Uwe Boll film.

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