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Hitman (2007)   rating

Review: written 2008

Surprising what this Olyphant keeps in his trunk

 Hitman (2007)

Critics were pretty sniffy about this movie on its release, and its true its no piece of art, but taken on its own hyper-kinetic action merits, it's actually not that bad.

Timothy Olyphant plays the Hitman - created, trained and indoctrinated as a consummate killer, known only by his number - 47. After a title introduction establishing his credentials, we see him as he goes on a job in Russia - but all does not go as planned, and he has to question who is telling him the truth. His only clue is a young Russian woman, who he takes with him as he tries to unravel his predicament. Meanwhile, Dougray Scott is the Interpol officer out to track him down in a remarkably wooden performance. Olyphant himself performs adequately, in a role which requires him to reign in any charisma which is his stock in trade, and become for the most part emotionless.

There is undoubtedly a large suspension of belief required, as the worlds law agencies find it impossible to track a man who wanders around bald with a barcode on the back of his head.. but the action scenes are fun enough, and at least some plot has been inserted to help the unlikely transition from game to big screen. Olga Kurylenko (soon to be seen in the Bond movie Quantum of Solace) is very easy on the eye in a variety of incredibly unlikely clothes which seem to only barely cover her - and not always that.

Best of all perhaps, are the locations - St Petersburg looks great, and Bulgaria filling in for Russia looks satisfyingly fresh and different to the normal Russia stand-ins.

All in all, this does not do enough to break the curse of game to big screen adaptations being disappointments, but it's better than most and for brainless and occasionally imaginative action is worth a watch.

 Hitman (2007)

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