CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Action, Thriller
  • 2007
  • 93 mins

Hitman

Hitman

Synopsis

Timothy Olyphant stars as a mysterious, bar-coded assassin in this French-US videogame adaptation produced by Luc Besson.

About

French director Xavier Gens' second feature (following crime-horror Frontiers) is a based-on-a-video-game action thriller, not unlike xXx or M:I: 3. It's another of those sub-Bond, post-John Woo contemporary action adventures, with a formula that seems quaintly old-fashioned, despite its new media origins. Here we have a hero (or anti-hero, played by a bald-headed, bar-coded Timothy Olyphant) trotting the globe, shooting and scrapping, eluding bad guys (and/or good guys) and saving the girl.

Why has Olyphant got a barcode on his head? He's part of a mysterious monastic organisation made up of the "unwanted and disposable," trained by a rogue order of monks and "programmed for one purpose - to kill". They don't get names, so Olyphant's super-assassin is simply number 47.

The action starts with 47 paying a nocturnal visit to Mike Whittier (Dougray Scott), a London-based Interpol officer who's been on the case of the great bald bogeyman ("the best at what he does,") for three years. We then flash back three months and see him in action in Niger, then in St Petersburg, where a dead-cert hit goes inexplicably wrong. Mr 47 is confused. Even more so when other bar-coded baldies start targeting him. He's got to elude Interpol, the Russian security forces and his own former comrades. Can he crack the conspiracy that has framed him and clear his name?

Skip Woods' (Swordfish) script aspires to some cod philosophising - "How does a good man decide when to kill?" 47 asks Whittier - but it operates at the level of the lowest common denominator. Like most movies based on video games, Hitman is best when it sticks to the action.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Ulrich Thomsen, Olga Kurylenko, Robert Knepper, Dougray Scott, Michael Offei, Timothy Olyphant, Henry Ian Cusick
  • Director: Xavier Gens
  • Screen Writer: Skip Woods
  • Producer: Adrian Askarieh, Chuck Gordon, Pierre-Ange le Pogam, Luc Besson
  • Photographer: Barès Laurent
  • Composer: Geoff Zanelli

In a nutshell

Hitman tries to smuggle in a few big ideas but is best enjoyed as a no-brain actioner.

by Daniel Etherington

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 The Exiles

    The Exiles

    A day in the life of a group of Native Americans who leave reservation life in the 1950s to live in a blighted Los Angeles district

  • Film4 Raging Balls Of Steel Justice

    Raging Balls Of Steel Justice

    Chuck Steel is a maverick, lone wolf cop who has - you guessed it - raging balls of steel justice

    On Film4: 24 Aug 11:00PM

  • Film4

    FrightFest Season 2014

    Join us for our annual celebration of all things horror, featuring two weeks of gory delights and classics from the crypt

  • Film4 Mistaken For Strangers

    Mistaken For Strangers on Film4

    Indie rock band The National are followed on their tour by the frontman's brother, an aspiring filmmaker

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share