johnlink ranks HITMAN (2007)

Watched HITMAN for the first time today. It was below mediocre, which is way better than I thought it would be. I guess that’s the good thing about low expectations. There is nowhere to go but up!

I love Hitman stories. Don’t know what it is about them. I guess it’s the mystique of the loner life making the choices about who lives and who dies. Hollywood certainly likes to glorify the profession. It’s amazing, when you stop and think about it, how often a professional killer is the protagonist in these films. I think there are way more bad hitman stories than good because this is a fine and delicate line that needs to be tread carefully. Instead, most productions trample and/or ignore the line completely. HITMAN is an example of one of the latter cases. To see this story well done, see LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL. Doesn’t get better than that.

Anyway, this film is about a Hitman (Timothy Olyphant) who works for The Organization. He is told to kill a prominent figure. Unfortuantely, the whole thing was a set up, and everyone is now out to get him.

I watched HITMAN (2007) on 1.10.09. It was my first viewing of the movie.

NOTE: THIS RANKING UTILIZES THIS SITE’S ORIGINAL SYSTEMIC ARTICLE WRITING METHOD. THE METHOD BY WHICH THE RANKINGS WERE ARRIVED AT, HOWEVER, REMAINS THE SAME.

FILM

This movie can’t get out of its own way. The editing is sometimes so quick that you don’t get a chance to collect your bearings before the next shot is up. This is especially problematic in fight scenes where actors look very similar. It’s hard to know who to root for. Beyond that, the female lead (Olga Kurylenko, the bond girl in QUANTUM OF SOLACE) is purely used as a prop. Her character does things with seemingly no motivation. One of them being that she tries to run and hide in a train station, and decides to hide in plain view near a man who is shot and bleeding on the floor. Actually, that train station sequence is the where this move begins to go all wrong. Several things happen purely for the entertainment of it. It works in a movie like SHOOT EM UP, but HITMAN takes itself way too seriously for these action sequences to be real fun. SCORE: 3

MOVIE

Strangely, the action sequences are pretty mundane. Basically, we get a lot of slow motion shots of men with their mouths open in primal screams shooting semi-automatic weapons. I also couldn’t get behind the killing of dozen’s of Russian police officers who are just normal guys (of course they are all masked to avoid any sort of humanization). Our ‘protagonist’ kills indescrimently, and we’re supposed to pull for him. On the plus side, there is a decent swordfight which I’m always all for. SCORE: 5

ACTING

I like Timothy Olyphant. But he’s pretty bad in this. He goes for cold and emotionless. At times he comes across constipated. The only person I really liked in this was Dougray Scott, who plays the inspector chasing him. Everyone else was pretty flat. SCORE: 4

WRITING

But in fairness, it is not all the actors fault. The source material for this movie is a video game. That actually doesn’t hurt the movie. What hurts it is the god awful one-liner dialogue. A typical conversation consists of the chick asking the hitman “What are you going to do?” and him answering “I’m going to do what I do.” SCORE: 3

FINAL TALLY

FILM: 3; MOVIE: 5; ACTING: 4; WRITING: 3

3+5+4+3+0=15

FINAL SCORE: 3.75

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~ by johnlink00 on January 10, 2009.

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