(Originally published in buzz magazine on 11/26/2008)
Written by Skip Woods, directed by Xavier Gens, and based on a hit videogame series of the same name, Hitman tells the story of a chrome-domed contract killer who possesses a machine-like shot accuracy and personality. Agent 47 (played by Timothy Olyphant) terminates his targets with a deadpan stone-face more befitting of a statue than a man. Think Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, except he’s bald, wears a suit and tie — instead of black-and-yellow jumpsuit — and shoots with a silenced pistol instead of a phaser.
Shit hits the fan when Belicoff appears on television the next day with a bandage on his head…as if that would heal a puncture from a sniper round. Determined to get to the bottom of this debacle, Agent 47 abducts Nika and stalks Belicoff.
While fun to watch, Hitman breezes over explanations and character development. As is the case with many action flicks, the story unravels too quickly to comprehend the convoluted plot twists. Agent 47’s origins are still largely a mystery at the end of the film.
And why don’t people stare at the barcode tattooed to the back of his shiny melon? I can’t help but wonder if some cheeky grocery store cashier ever tried to scan it as a joke, later being blown to a pulp from the ignition-triggered bomb wired to his car’s engine.
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