Hitman ** ½ (out of ****)

Director: Xavier Gens
Writer: Skip Woods
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko, Robert Knepper, Ulrich Thomsen
Rating: R (language, nudity, violence)
Running Time: 100 min
Release Date: 11/21/2007

Another movie based on a video game. Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) is a highly capable assassin who works for a mysterious international group known as the Agency. It seems this organization is available to all governments who want someone whacked if they pay the right price. 47 looks like Mr. Clean crossed with a Dark Angel X-5. Only, he has the barcode a couple of inches higher. He has completed so many missions that he has Interpol agent Mike Whittier (Dougray Scott) assigned to track him down.

47 has just received an assignment to assassinate the “moderate” president of Russia, Mikhail Belikoff, by some faction that one must assume isn’t “moderate”! Things seem to be going according to plan until the man he just shot dead turns up on TV very much alive. Something is very wrong here! As Mike points out the FSB agent, “My guy doesn’t miss!” 47 has much them same reaction to this development. Soon he is informed by his Agency contact that there is a witness that he must also eliminate. The witness turns out to be Belikoff’s personal prostitute Nika (Olga Kurylinko). It’s an ambush. 47 quickly shoots his way out of it and then abducts the girl as well.

The action shifts to dealing with those who set 47 up. Nika is his only lead but she knows little other than Belikoff is not very nice guy. Several Agency operatives are sent to finish 47 off in a train station ambush as the body count mounts. The relationship between Interpol and the FSB becomes very strained. Guess who order the hit on Belikoff?

We were told in the trailer to this movie that 47 was raised in some sort of monastery. It seems that celibacy was one virtue they were able to impart to 47 even if they totally failed with the Sixth Commandment! Nika’s attempts to seduce 47 prove to be just as ineffective as his enemy’s attempts to kill him. However, 47 does develop a brotherly protectiveness for her in the end.

On balance Hitman was better than I expected. It is an enjoyable distraction for those who are open to this genre. Not for pacifists!

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