, 89 min, 2007
Director: Xavier Gens
Writer: Skip Woods (written by)
Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko
Xavier Gens’ Hitman is a high-octane, moderately-successful feature with a scintilla of a story, some cool visual style, and little else.
Part of that little else, Timothy Olyphant (of TV’s Deadwood) plays Agent 47, a bald, barcode-tattooed hitman trained by something called “The Agency,” who send him all around the world to take care of business in as subtle yet violent a way as possible. Agent 47′s latest assignment concerns assassinating the Russian President, Belicoff (Ulrich Thomsen), who appears in public almost immediately after the hit. 47 meets a Russian prostitute/slave named Nika (Olga Kurylenko), who follows him and tries to help when she can. Meanwhile, he’s tracked by Interpol Agent Mike Whittier (Dougray Scott), bent on stopping the bloodshed.
The film, directed by Xavier Gens (Frontier(s)) and written by Skip Woods (Swordfish), is based on a popular video game and as such, there’s a bit more plot than you might expect. I’m no video game afficienado, but I like to think I can tell the difference between a good adaptation and a bad one and this one is passable, if not ground-breaking.
Olyphant makes a convincing hitman working for a secret organization, or as convincing as such a character can be, and the film has a certain video game/action movie logic. Its technical credits are top notch, as are its accomplishments – if small-scale. What more do you want?
Note: The unrated version runs 90 minutes on DVD.