Books, yes; original ideas, of course. But color me skeptical but when it comes to films inspired by a video game and the depth of their plot (given the audience's lukewarm reception of films like "DOA: Dead or Alive," "BloodRayne," and "Doom," to cite a few). When "Hitman" managed to rise out of the morass of the others, I can at least say I was pleasantly surprised.
Agent 47 is a highly trained killer, having been brought up since childhood to be focused on assassinating others without remorse or consideration. He's a world traveler, slipping in and out of places and doing the only job he knows. Interpol is also tracking 47, but without much success so far; the Russian security police (formerly KGB) are also looking for this international man of mystery.
While they're looking and not finding, #47 is off to assassinate the Russian president -- and pulls it off. What his handlers aren't so sure about is if the woman with the president (Nika) saw #47, and to err on the side of caution, they also want her dead before he gets paid. #47 is cool with the add-on task, but when he goes to kill her, he begins to get the feeling there's something more going on than he's aware of, and it reeks of a set-up.
Much like any video game, there's lots of action and moving around, far less focus on dialogue and plot development. The hero is being chased by several factions who all want him stopped, he's trying to uncover the plot against him before the inevitable "it's too late..." Honestly, though, I don't think any of us expected an iron-glad plot -- we expected lots of shooting and action, and they delivered that in spades.
All in all, a decent action/thriller sort of flick. Timothy Olyphant (Agent 47) delivers a decent performance, as does Olga Kurylenko (Nika), a Ukrainian model who's doing her first movie -- and likely one of her first big roles having to speak English as well. "Hitman" isn't going to be a blockbuster, Oscar-nominated tour de force, but it's solid entertainment... and with little out this upcoming weekend, it's worth a second go of it if it didn't hit your radar last week.