Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hitman's Good For Killin' Time

Hey Hey Stargazers!

I know many of you have been anxiously anticipating a review of a theatrical release and not a DVD release. Maybe it's the chill of the winter winds nipping my brainflow, or maybe I ingested a toxic amount of tryptophan over the Thanksgiving holiday that's just now wearing off. Heck, it could be the mounting depression (stemming from the ongoing writers’ strike) of knowing that I will only be able to staunch my film addiction at the loving hands of Netflix in 2008. All I know is my slackness is a mystery all its own. But no one cares about that; you just wanna hear about the movie!!

The Hitman

Release: 11/21/2007
Rated R
1 hour, 40 minues

Matinee ($$$)

Everyone's favorite skeevy Pete, a.k.a. Timothy Olyphant (The Girl Next Door), cleans himself up (somewhat) to portray an assassin known only as 47 in this adaptation of the popular video game bearing the same name. If you've never seen an assassin action film, there's pretty much two basic plots; either the assassin is embroiled in a deadly têtê-a-têtê with a younger colleague out to make a name for himself, or the assassin is pursued relentlessly after finishing a job because his paranoid client wants him killed to sever their implication in the dirty deed. "The Hitman" falls into the latter category.

Agent 47 is running for his life after being stiffed on the job. He latches onto a young escort, Nika, portrayed by Olga Kurylenko, who is the only link to the client now trying to kill him.

Olyphant does a commendable job playing the callous, calculating hitman. His expressions, the glint in his eye and pursing of the lips remind me of Eastwood except without all that, you know, commanding presence. But slap a few polished guns in his hands and strap a half-naked Ukrainian babe by his side and you’d almost never know the difference.

The Hitman says little and kills a lot all for the sake of evading his pursuers. One bloodhound is an obnoxious, headstrong Interpol agent who’s always this close to capturing 47 - adeptly played by Dougray Scott (Enigma). Another is Russian secret service agent Yuri Marklov, played by Robert Knepper (Hostage), who wants to keep Interpol out of his city and his business. Of course there are the innumerable villains with their shiny guns and knives who all do an excellent job of falling and screaming on cue.

Dirty Undies
Let me continue on a bit about the guns and knives. What would an assassin movie be without a substantial amount of killing? “Hitman” passes muster with flying colors. There is nary a room that 47 enters, a corner that he turns that does not unfold into rivers of bloodshed and deafening gunfire and explosions.

And let me not forget sexy and lithe Kurylenko whose piercings, tattoos, and blatant disrespect for wearing concealing attire is all too welcome. Her hotness overshadows Olyphant’s steamy glare. Kurylenko makes me rethink my position on mail-order Ukrainian brides (though I think my wife’s position still remains firm).

The Money Shot
“The Hitman” is a fast-paced excuse for a body-count. It delivers a decent enough story with solid direction and it keeps the characters’ lines to a minimum to avoid any undue suffering. In a time of year when heart-wrenching dramas reign supreme, it’s comforting to know audiences can find refuge amid a hail of heart-bursting gunfire.

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