Hitman - Blu-ray Review

'More breasts = lower quality film. Case for the prosecution: Hitman'

There is a school of thought circulating the Film Intel offices which maintains that a film's quality is directly proportional to the amount of time its lead actresses' breasts spend needlessly on screen. More breasts = lower quality film. Case for the prosecution: Hitman, in which, should we need to spell it out at this stage, we see a rather large amount of Olga Kurylenko.

Not enough though, it would seem, to render Hitman at the bottom end of our scale and therefore, completely worthless, saved as it is by some entertaining scenes and the genius decision to cast Timothy Olyphant in the lead role. Cool and distant, Olyphant is an actor with presence, a required facet in anyone attempting to play an assassin, and whilst his range isn't exactly tested here (direction notes read: hit him, look stoic; run there, look stoic; pick her up, look stoic) his Agent 47 is intriguing enough to keep us at least partially invested in his character. The quiet, dialogue-heavy scenes with Dougray Scott which form the sandwich wrapper around the action filling are interesting if not completely captive and an early movement in a hotel stood out amongst the rest of the pyrotechnics.

Hitman though, is one of those films which takes itself too seriously at times and not seriously enough at others. With Robert Knepper, Ulrich Thomsen, Henry Ian Cusick, Scott and Olyphant all doing their level-best to out snarl each other, there's a serious lack of humour or lightness of touch which bogs the film down and moves any respite from the violence on to the chemistry between Olyphant and Kurylenko. Unfortunately, theres is a chemistry which scores nil and pained scenes involving her trying to communicate with him are, well... painful.

Director Xavier Gens shows that, at times, he had a tight handle on this, framing a shot of Agent 47 walking down a hallway to appear like a videogame: a subtle nod that fans will appreciate but which doesn't invade the language of the film à la Doom. Elsewhere though, like the overall tone, he wavers and climatic gun battles with key characters (Henry Ian Cusick's drug dealer vs Agent 47 in particular) don't deliver and are poorly choreographed. In the end, he resorts to more nakedness to satisfy the fan boys, a desperate decision which really shows just how shallow Hitman as a whole sadly is.

Look further...

'the narrative is all over the place and sometimes completely laughable, the story isn’t clear and even the basics are hard to follow, but I was sold by the aesthetic of the movie and by Olyphant in particular' - Row Three (Marina Antunes), 2.5/5

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