• 2007-11-28
  • by Tim Ochser

HIT ME BABY: Timothy Olyphant plays a monk-like assassin in this not-so-memorable action flick.

Director: Xavier Gens

My biggest problem with "Hitman" is that I don't remember much about it. I saw it three weeks ago at a press screening but it has mysteriously vanished into the thin air of my memory since then.
Fortunately, I do remember the main character, a shaven-headed man who goes by the name of Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant). The movie starts off with a flashback showing him being raised to be an assassin in what would appear to be a school for future assassins run by a load of monks. We see the younglings learning how to fight and kill and having their hair shaven off and a barcode tattooed on the back of their heads.

Now a fully grown assassin, Agent 47 gets an encrypted message about his next hit. He is instructed to take out the populist Russian politician Mikhail Belicoff (Ulrich Thomsen). He efficiently dispatches him with a headshot during a political rally, being highly skilled at what he does, only to see Belicoff on the news later that same evening complaining about the cowardly attempt on his life. In other words, the hit was a set up.
Agent 47 is not a happy assassin and he sets out to discover the truth. He hooks up with Belicoff's girlfriend along the way, Nika (Olga Kurylenko), a feisty young Russian woman who is also set up by her no-good boyfriend and left for dead.

To begin with she and Agent 47 don't exactly get along. The main problem is that he's celibate and dedicated to his lonely life as an assassin. But he can't resist her feisty charms for long and he soon starts gulping a lot (with desire) in her presence.
After that my memory starts to fail me. I remember lots and lots and lots of fighting, shooting and killing. I remember people speaking with dubious Russian accents. I remember some nice Interpol agents trying and failing to arrest Agent 47. But beyond these vague recollections I can't really be sure of what I saw.

"Hitman" is not quite as awful as you might think thanks largely to Timothy Olyphant. His unlikely casting as the super-efficient, computer game-style assassin gives the movie at least a veneer of respectability. The film also borrows heavily from the Bourne movies in its rapid editing, and its stringy score is almost litigiously alike. But once the credits roll, "Hitman" never really happened.

Now showing in Latvia. Opens Estonia Nov. 30 and in Lithuania Dec. 7.

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