Viewed – 11 April 2008  DVD

Videogame adaptations have had a rocky history on the big screen, and many will have you believe that videogames just don’t make good movies.  I’ll agree that the likes of Street Fighter and Super Mario have been turned into utter pointless shite – but then again, these are games with no real story, and thats why the likes of Silent Hill and Resident Evil have faired better, even if they still came in for criticism.

So turning one of my favourite videogame franchises into a movie, in the name of I.O. Interactive’s seminal Hitman – I and many fans thought this just could not fail.  Overall, the casting of Die Hard 4.0 bad guy Timothy Olyphant as the deadly professional killer ’47’ works brilliantly, and his iconic red tie and tux complete with bald head and bar code tattoo is realised perfectly.  Thankfully the (often violent) action is handled just as well, with some great shoot outs, an impressive subway sword fight and stylish direction throughout.  What doesn’t work is the very simplistic plot, a villain with no charm or presence, and a few too many twists that make your head hurt.  Dougray Scott’s special agent who is on 47’s trail lends some weight to proceedings, and a sexy down on her luck prostitute becomes an unwelcome love interest for our normally lone Hitman, but thankfully things don’t get too slushy.  Only a brief running time stops the film having much of a plot to care about or any time to breathe between gunfights – although that said this still proves to be an exciting and stylish 90 minutes that kept a smile on my face.

Verdict:  3 /5


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