Computer images weaken the violence of `Hitman'

Review C

November 21, 2007|By John Anderson

In the realm of sensitive-assassin movies like Hitman, the viewer is expected to come equipped with all kinds of knowledge about genetic engineering, corporate espionage, and the nuanced machinations of post-Soviet governments. Yet, when the film cuts to the snowy Dr. Zhivago landscape, the subtitle tells you we are now in "Moscow -- Russia." Just in case you thought it was Idaho.

But Hitman is like that. This killer-with-a-heart-of-gold thriller, the newest film based on a video game, leads one by the hand, and ear, through a world of fantasy violence and cartoon people. Chief among the latter is 47 (Timothy Olyphant), who's been raised, not reared, to kill people in the most effective ways possible. He belongs to a cult-like organization whose members can be recognized by their bald heads and the bar code tattooed on the napes of their necks. Must be hell at airport security.

Hitman (20th Century Fox) Starring Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko. Directed by Xavier Gens. Rated R. Time 100 minutes.

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