Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Joie' De Vivre On Celluloid: Hitman

Tim Olyphant stars as Hitman or, the bar-coded Agent 47 in this more refined take in recent years on a video game. With all of them rolling out all the time, every now and then, they gotta get one right. Right? Yezir...

There is most certainly something to be said of the film/game series. Chil with me for a sec as I think aloud. A boy raised inside a church sect, to be a nothing less than a very efficient assassin, is terrifying. Really think about that. A man, who knows nothing but the training he received for twenty some odd years, in assassinating people. Children, cast aside as unwanted, and then conditioned and hardened into professional contract killers. Programed in every aspect of fatal combat, fire arms, explosives, even and of course--human anatomy. Going your whole life, with no Zeitgeist or Pop Culture getting in the way of your thoughts. No women (damn), job security, retirement pension, drugs, clubs, or what to post next on Twitter or Facebook (Lucky bastard). Nothing, but the next assignment. The only thing the man has ever known is to kill, and how to do it as quick and to-the-Goddamn-point as possible. No ego. This is not a dick measuring contest for these men. That's a dedication, forced but still very large dedication, I haven't seen in recent times in film regarding the characters we see. A very specific kind of dedication and craftsmanship injected into a job. Bravo for that starting point. Fa serious. 

If only the film would have had the respect the prior paragraph did for Agent number 47. Almost, but not exactly a wood-tip, wine, Black And Mild.

And Olyphant gives this all to us and more. He's cold, calculating, refined (third time I know, but it's relevant), like a aged Scotch. But there also a longing inside him, that you occasionally see behind his eyes. He does not smirk, grin, or most definitely smile. He raises a corner of his mouth, ever so slightly.

Kurylenko goes the distance in this, surprising me. Stepping out of her skin (or showing us a little to spoil something) from Quantum and Max Payne (where I guess in a timeline she got worse) and showing us a side of pro hooker that we often see, but not in a Russian political pass-around whore. I felt the pains she was trying to show us, with a script that lacked actually character development, she tried as she might to gives us something on the brink. And I clapped my hands with admiration. In the chief line of her dialogue, I selected this one:
"If you're looking for a reason not to kill me... I don't really have one."
And the delivery was as special as the line was. A more original choice to the standard "Please don't do this!" 

Yeah sure, the plot and it's specifics were a little, misleading, and then confusing, and then I just gave up and enjoyed what I was seeing. But it's not all that bad. The Russian politics and bureaucratic twine weaving some of the plot make the story seem weighted more than most empty video game adaptations. 

Watch this trailer below. Really watch and embrace the next 1 minute and 55 seconds. Sit. Lights off. Blast the sound into your headphones and tell me your not even just a little excited about this thing afterwords?

Yeah... Thought so.

Like one of the better Luc Besson produced films, it doesn't try to be what it can't and embraces it's ingredients to give them as much flavor as it can. A pizza is only a pizza, but it's how you choose to flesh out your dough, cheese, sauce and toppings that make all the difference.

But, again, it's still only a pizza.  So excuse me as I give 3 out 4 'Nanas for this most appreciated flick.

Munki out.

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