Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Hitman (Unrated)

Reviewed by: Joshua Starnes and Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5.5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: Unrated

Starring:
Timothy Olyphant as Agent 47
Dougray Scott as Mike Whittier
Olga Kurylenko as Nika Boronina
Robert Knepper as Yuri Marklov
Ulrich Thomsen as President Mikhail Belicoff
Henry Ian Cusick as Udre Belicoff
Michael Offei as Jenkins
Christian Erickson as General Kormarov
Eriq Ebouaney as Bwana Ovie
Joe Sheridan as Captain Gudnayev
James Faulkner as Smith Jamison
Jean-Marc Bellu as Hitman #2
Nicky Naude as Hitman #3
Abdou Sagna as Hitman #4
Ilya Nikitenko as Hitman #5

Special Features:
In the Crosshairs Featurette
Digital Hits Featurette
Instruments of Destruction Featurette
Para-Ordnance P18.9 Featurette
Blaser R93 LRS2 Featurette
M16 Featurette
FN F2000 Featurette
Micro Uzi Featurette
M240 Featurette
Settling the Score Featurette
Deleted Scenes
Alternate Ending
Gag Reel
Portable Digital Copy of Hitman

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 94 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"Prepare for the ultimate rush of adrenaline when you explore the world of 'Hitman' as never before. Packed with explosive, unrated action not seen in theatres, this dazzling 2-disc set is locked-and-loaded with awesome featurettes, deleted scenes, an alternate ending and more!

The best-selling videogame, 'Hitman,' roars to life with both barrels blazing in this hardcore action-thriller starring Timothy Olyphant ('Live Free or Die Hard'). A genetically engineered assassin, known only as "Agent 47", finds himself ensnared in a life-or-death game of international intrigue and violent retribution."

"Hitman" is rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity. This version is unrated.

The Movie:
An adaptation of the popular video game series, "Hitman" the film is a conventional action thriller that seeks to do nothing more than entertain with an assortment of carnage and sex, at which it is moderately successful.

French director Xavier Gens has stayed fairly close to his source material which means it's heavy on style, but low on substance following the adventures of the nameless Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant), the world's greatest assassin. Agent 47 has been trained from birth for one single-minded purpose, to kill people, but doesn't really know how to do anything else, and has begun to question what he really wants out of life. As a robotic killing machine, Olyphant and his extremely flat delivery are peculiarly well suited to portraying Agent 47. Yes, he's kind of dull whenever he opens his mouth to talk, but this time he's supposed to be that way. It only really falls apart when the filmmakers try to humanize 47 after he rescues battered prostitute Nika (an equally wooden Olga Kurylenko) from an overly complicated political conspiracy. The only thing worse than their attempts at humor are their attempts at flirtation. It's not so much bad as horribly, horribly dull.

Mercifully, and I don't say this often, neither Gens nor screenwriter Skip Woods ("Swordfish") are particularly interested in character development (every other character in the film is merely a device for exposition), and seeing as how neither of them seem particularly good at it, that's probably for the best. They've decided instead to go for the bullets, blood, and breasts school of entertainment.

Gens is a decent visual stylist and "Hitman" has a slick feel to it, lifting inspiration from a number of sources, including the game itself and the "Bourne" series. The action sequences are mostly well done, except when they devolve into hand-to-hand, when they suddenly and inexplicable become leaden and clumsy. Logic is also not a particular friend of the film, but considering how preposterous the premise is, that's not an out and out deal breaker.

Fans of the games should get some enjoyment out of "Hitman," it's about as faithful a game adaptation as I've seen, but it's a toss-up for everyone else. "Hitman" doesn't have a lot to offer, but if you go in not expecting too much you should get along fine.

The Extras:
You'll find many of your typical DVD bonus features here: a gag reel, a "making of" featurette, and a video on the score. There are also a series of featurettes on the various weapons featured in the film. You get to see the film's weapons master target shooting with them. There's also a featurette comparing the video game to the film and some deleted scenes. And alternate ending shows a slightly different conclusion to Nika's story.

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