MONKEY REVIEW: Hitman (Unrated)

March 13, 2008

“Based on the video game” is always a bad sign for a movie, but Hitman is actually not bad at all, made watchable principally by Timothy Olyphant, who invests the bald headed, barcoded assassin named 47 with some sorely needed charisma, humor and a hint of some depth, which you don’t ordinarily get in these kinds of movies. It’s also directed with a refreshing minimum of flash by Xavier Gens, who instead borrows a lot from the Jason Bourne playbook. In fact, Hitman is like a Bourne film with its globetrotting and digital readouts announcing locations, though it’s minus a lot of the brains, and adds on quite a bit more blood and nudity. As for the plot, 47 finds himself double-crossed and on the run from seemingly everyone. Along for the ride is a Russian woman, Nika, played by Olga Kurylenko, whom 47 rescues from white slavery and eventually befriends, against his instincts. Kurylenko is an appealing newcomer, and is another reason Hitman remains watchable. (Unsurprisingly, she’s in the forthcoming James Bond movie, too.) Yes, there are a lot of silly things in the movie, not least of which is his appearance: For an assassin described as a “ghost,” he’s got a pretty distinctive look which hardly allows him to just blend into a crowd. Those things aside, Hitman is actually a pretty decent action film, so I’m giving it two monkeys, though if you’re not a fan of action movies, and definitely not a fan of video game adaptations, then you’ll want to adjust the rating down to three monkeys or so.

MONKEY RATING: TWO (BALD HEADED, BARCODED) MONKEYS

(For a brief explanation of the Monkey Review rating system, click here.)

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