Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Henry Ian Cusick, Olga Kurylenko, Robert Knepper, Ulrich Thomsen, Michael Offei
Director: Xavier Gens
SUNY Purchase '05
"I don't compromise my values and I don't compromise my work. I won't give in." -Michael Moore
Review By: Rocco Passafuime
Since the early 1990's, video games have proven lucrative enough to make an impact on popular culture. Sometimes they can even make fairly decent movies, in the case of Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil.
However, most of the time though they are still relatively notorious duds like Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter, and Wing Commander to name a few. The latest video game to be rather abysmally converted into feature film is the European shoot-'em up Hitman, now available on DVD.
Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) is a contract assassin ritualistically molded from childhood to be a highly-skilled servant of a mysterious organization. In Russia, his latest target is to assassinate Mikhail Belicoff (Ulrich Thomsen), a presidential candidate of a more moderate national political party.
While he seemingly succeeds in his mission, he soon learns that his assassination was witnessed by Nika (Olga Kurylenko), a prostitute of Belicoff's. However, 47 is soon shocked to discover that Belicoff miraculously survived the assassination attempt.
Upon this, he discovers he has been set up and 47 flees with Nika in order to protect her from Belicoff. While this goes on, tracking the assassin down every step of the way is Interpol agent Mike Whittier (Dougray Scott) and his partner Jenkins (Michael Offei).
French director Xavier Gens tries with all his might to impress audiences with his Hollywood debut. But all the dazzling camera tricks in the world can't mask Hitman from being anything more than merely another dull, abysmal video game adaptation.
Most of the actors are serviceable enough and fulfill their roles adequately and the film's plot is a bit more substantial than most video game adaptations, albeit barely. However, it does little to stop the script from being your typical hybrid of the overtly violent and risqué (particularly in this unrated edition), yet hopelessly childish and immature, designed specifically to appeal to a wide range of the most base of 18-24 year-old male video game players.
The DVD's picture quality is presented in the 2:35:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio, with the sound quality in Dolby Digital Surround 5.1. The DVD also comes packed with plenty of special features.
The first is the behind-the-scenes featurette "In The Crosshairs"Â, which features interviews with the cast and crew and covers the production of the film. The "Digital Hits"Â featurette explores the history behind the Hitman video game franchise, featuring the series' creators and video game critics.
The "Instruments Of Destruction"Â featurette covers the various weapons used in the film with the crew, while "Setting The Score"Â featurette covers the score and the music implemented with the film's composer. There are also four deleted scenes, including an alternate ending, plus a gag reel, unusual for this kind of genre, that rounds out the special features.
All in all, Hitman does a decent enough job in its adaptation into a film that it's not a
Movie Grade: C
DVD Features Grade: B
Overall Grade: B-