Top critical review
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Thank God Vin Diesel pulled out...
on 5 November 2011
This has to be the best video game to film adaptation I have seen. Granted, examples in recent years haven't exactly been earth shattering (Tomb Raider, Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil) however this film is surprisingly good and a solid stand-alone action movie in its own right.
Timothy Olyphant (Die Hard 4.0) is Agent 47, an unnamed assasin who is part of an organisation of bald, barcoded killers who are raised as such from birth. Apparently, the role was originally intended for Vin Diesel but he pulled out for whatever reason and Olyphant stepped in. Well, I'm glad he did, otherwise I may never have watched the film - we don't need yet another xXx film, thank you very much. Olyphant brings an certain human quality to the role and performs well within the contraints of Agent 47's character.
The film does suffer somewhat from an attempt at an over-complicated storyline at times (and this is the only reason why I restrained myself in giving the film 4 stars), however this film is all about the action and there is no shortage of that. Watch out for the brilliant scene involving four other barcoded assassins in a swordplaying stand-off with Olyphant - an original take on your run-of-the-mill Tarantino-esque Mexican stand-off, to say the least.
The action scenes are very slick and can be wonderfully graphic at times. The penultimate fight scene in particular is reminiscent of a certain scene from American History X and definitely raised an eyebrow or two, achieving the desired effect.
Overall, this film is definitely worth a watch. Given the film's relatively modest budget of £25M, the results are pleasing and after the film managed to quadruple its budget at the box office, it is no surprise that a Hitman 2 is in on the way. Good effort.