Ultimately Hitman is about bullets, blood, and bombs. For die-hard fans of the videogame, there is much to relish in terms of cobblestone car chases, punishing fistfights, cool weaponry, impossible physical feats, and ear-popping gun battles that rage through exclusive hotels in exotic locations.
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The best movie derived from a violent computer game we've ever seen. You can take or leave that kind of qualified high-five, but, for us, it was a thoroughly entertaining experience. Think of bargain basement "James Bond" amped up into TV den-sittin', mouse-clickin' overdrive. But with human actors.
As a movie on its own, it's simple monotony. Olyphant, affecting Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry voice, is about as menacing as Mr. Clean, and the action scenes - whether the weapons are fists, feet, swords or guns - fly past without any tension or suspense. Hitman is a miss.
All the while, the music screams and clamors like an ignored child because director Xavier Gens and writer Skip Woods can't pump suspense into this inept mess.
If someone ran this guy through a scanner, the readout would say: “Mark down and stock in straight-to-video aisle."
Hitman exploits every action-flick cliché imaginable and still manages to be dull. It’s bang, boom, blah -- action movies for bored dummies.
To be sure, Hitman is a lousy film, but like the video game that inspired it, it's also great fun, drawing as it does on everything from James Bondian Eurotrash panache to Vin Diesel's moribund XXX character.
Hitman stands right on the threshold between video games and art. On the wrong side of the threshold, but still, give it credit.
A Eurotrashy vidgame knockoff that misses its target by a mile. Numbingly unthrilling as it lurches from one violent encounter to another, the pic's dark roots in an electronic, non-dramatic medium are plain to see, and unsuspecting gamers lured to theaters will soon wish they were back home participating in the action themselves.
The movie's one saving grace is Olyphant ("Live Free and Die Hard," HBO's "Deadwood"), whose sociopathic elegance is gradually winning, and whose dry, monotonic, Eastwood-like delivery of one-liners is frequently, if perhaps unintentionally, very funny.