Hitman (2007)

(On TV, March 2015)  I’m not sure how you can go from a videogame with a rich mythos to a film adaptation that barely qualifies as an action film, but there is Hitman, an instantly-forgettable generic thriller that doesn’t have much going for it.  I’m not familiar with the video game, but the mythology described on Wikipedia doesn’t sound uninteresting.  Alas, the film itself can’t be bothered to do much with the elements it has at its disposal, presenting a generic east-European assassination story that feels as if it’s been done a dozen times before.  There isn’t much here to distinguish the result from countless direct-to-video low-budget thrillers.  Pressed for anything nice to say, it’s possible to recognize Timothy Oliphant’s screen presence, occasional visuals and maybe the four-way hitman brawl.  But that’s pretty much it for a script that revels in clichés and familiar tropes.  It’s best not to look too closely at the premise (for assassins trained to be inconspicuous, bar-coded red-tied suited skinheads may not be the best choice) nor the actual plot (assassinating a body double for… what, exactly?)  The film is just dull, and doesn’t seem to be leading anywhere where there are actual stakes.  As usual, excessive violence in the middle of a bad film makes the violence seems even more irritating.  Compared to The Divide, Hitman is not the worst film I’ve seen from director Xavier Gens, but that’s not much of a compliment either.

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