Welcome to Assassin Week: Day 4. Today, I will actually be reviewing two films, which are the two films that currently exist based off of the Hitman video game series by the same name. The first review, this review, is going to be on 2007’s Hitman. Be forewarned, though. I have never played the video games, so I’m really just going into this blindly. Let’s see how it turns out.
A gun-for-hire “Hitman” is a genetically-engineered, elite assassin known only as Agent 47 hired by a group known only as ‘The Organization’ is ensnared in a political conspiracy, which finds him pursued by both Interpol and the Russian military as he treks across Eastern Europe. But even 47 couldn’t anticipate a “random equation” in his life exactitude: the unexpected stirrings of his conscience and the unfamiliar emotions aroused in him by a mysterious Russian woman. – IMDb
Now for first impressions…where in the world do you get Timothy Olyphant for Agent 47? Like I said, I didn’t play the games, but I know enough to know he should be a tough dude. They were originally going to cast Vin Diesel or Jason Statham, those options I understand. How do you jump from Diesel and Statham…to Olyphant? I just don’t get it. The guy plays a lot of comedic roles completely opposite of what this character is all about! I guess he looks like the video game character, but I highly doubt he sounds anything like Agent 47…he just sounds like Timothy Olyphant. There will be times that he walks straight like he should, but other times where he’ll stumble around like Olyphant would normally do…and the two movements sort of clash pretty harshly.
I will say one thing about this series, though, they got the “look” of a hitman down pat. I know real hitmen just look like normal people in order to blend in, but when you think about who they truly are, I picture these dudes. These bald dudes with suits and ties, black leather gloves, and a freaking barcode on the back of their neck. How cool is that? When you look at that guy, the only thing you can think of is…get out of the way, this guy means business, and that’s something the video games did that the movies definitely got right, in my opinion. But what about the rest?
Well, to answer that, we gotta break down the film and figure out where it went wrong and right. It’s time to interpret the stars.
PEOPLE SCORE – 4/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 1|Casting – 0|Importance – 1|Chemistry – 1
First up is the people category, and boy oh boy, did we have a bit of a floozy. Nothing in this category was really any good, and one specific subcategory was awful. The acting is mostly fine, but none of it wowed me. The characters were mostly okay, but the only one I’m actually going to remember is Agent 47, and I didn’t like the guy playing him, which brings us to casting. Anyone could’ve been played by anyone else, especially Agent 47, who I feel like they got the worse actor to portray him. The only important character was simply Agent 47 because he works alone, but that flattens out the rest of the characters. Finally, the chemistry was impossibly bland. It took them four years to get from pre-production to post-production. Four years, and this is what we got.
WRITING SCORE – 7/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 2|Story – 1|Originality – 1|Interesting – 2
Next up, we have the writing category, which was rated a bit better, but still not a perfect score. The dialogue was mostly just typical action speech, nothing more. It did follow a pretty solid structure, so I would at least say it was balanced. The story isn’t really all that extravagant, though. Whenever they make movies based off video games, there’s usually a reason that sticks out against other films, and I just didn’t catch whatever that was, so the story was just fine for me. As far as originality is considered, I don’t even see how the video game is original if the film has any real likeness to it because I definitely felt like I’ve seen the movie before. I would say it’s interesting, though, considering how it is based on a video game…so that’s pretty interesting in general.
BTS SCORE – 6/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 1|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
When it comes to behind-the-scenes, we have yet another so-so score. The visuals, directing, editing, and music were all just really typical and bland things you’d typically see in films like these. Absolutely nothing stood out, nothing surprised me. The best part of this category really came down to the fact that there wasn’t any false advertising with it.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 8/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 1|Falling Action – 1
Next up, we have the narrative arc category, which did pretty well, let’s take a look at that. The introduction has us understanding Agent 47’s history really quickly before getting into things. The inciting incident is when he is ordered to carry out a hit, but when he learns that there’s a hit on himself, he needs to finish his mission and fix his predicament. The obstacles really come down to thwarting off other killers trying to kill him…and all of this crap is seen better in John Wick 2. The climax is anticlimactic and the falling action doesn’t return to a new norm. Yeah. Just watch John Wick 2.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 3/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 0
Alright, so how entertaining was it? Not that much. As far as rewatching it goes, I might end up seeing it again on TV or something, but t really all just depends on the day and my mood. While I do think the film is all in good fun with all of the fight sequences, nothing else is important. I don’t want to buy it, I don’t want to own it, I don’t want to talk about it because never once does it really suck you in. So, take that as you will.
TOTAL – 35/50
Assassin Week – 5|Action – 10|Drama – 5|Adaption – 5|Halfway Decent – 10
Alright, so now, we’re down to our specialty questions that I wrote before seeing the film. Being Assassin Week, how does this do for the week? Well, while it is clearly about an assassin, it does feel a bit cheesy, to be honest, so other assassin films are definitely better. How was the action? Well, I think, for the most part, the action was well done. Do I think it could’ve been better, yeah, but that’s not really my main complaint with the film, so I’ll let it slide. It’s also listed as a drama, in which case…I guess, but it really shouldn’t be. While it does have dramatic moments, none of them really have that emotional connection that drama usually needs. How was it as an adaptation. Like I said, I never played the games, but I do know enough about them to know that casting was absolutely essential, and that was the first thing they screwed up. Instead of jumping on the gun and filming it with the wrong guy, they should have to wait until somebody’s schedule cleared up. Finally, was it halfway decent? I went back and forth on this one, but I think, for the most part, it did what it was intending to do, so I have to say yes.