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Monday, May 27, 2024

"Hitman" is perhaps one of the better film adaptations of a video game. However, that is not saying much. It is quick and highly stylized but suffers from a lack of depth.

The story is centered on Agent 47, played by a very capable Timothy Olyphant. This assassin, part of a strictly secret organization that simply goes by the secretive name "The Agency," has had the company turn against him.

Agent 47 decides not to take the betrayal lying down, and through the help of Nika, who is played by Olga Kurylenko, and the cooperation of Mike Whittier, played by Dougray Scott, he strikes back.

The action sequences are, luckily, first rate and have a shimmering quality about them. They are not too flashy, which helps make them more believable. Moves are quick and precise, much in the vein of the "Bourne" movies.

In fact, director Xavier Gens seems to have taken quite a few cues from Doug Liman, who directed "The Bourne Identity." He emulates the feel, style of action and even the same type of female lead. Sadly, the emotional depth is lacking.

In the desire to pack so much into a 100-minute film, the story is left underdeveloped. While this probably won't bother the film's demographic audience very much, it kind of cheapens the film for everyone else.

The movie also begs several questions, such as: How on earth does The Agency find customers, especially ones who can keep a secret? And why does no one notice this man has a bar code on the back of his head?

However, the poorest execution in the movie might have been the cinematography. The shots are disjointed and lack consistency. Sometimes tricks used by computer games to reveal part of the story are employed (such as a character speaking directly to the camera), but these tricks only work when the audience is sitting behind a controller - not a bucket of popcorn.

"Hitman," while not great, is an effective way to pass the time. If you're looking for something to tide you over between "Bourne" movies, this is a generic antidote.

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