Having never played the video game or knew much about it, I decided to watch this on pay-per-view not expecting a great deal from it to be honest. I had read mostly negative reviews when it was released on the cinema but I like Timothy Olyphant, excellent in gritty western series Deadwood and good as the villain in Die Hard 4.0, so I thought I would give it a go. And I'm really glad I did. This is slick entertainment from beginning to end and it isn't just `all' action. There is a plot and some characterisation and build up to the set pieces, some of which are stunning. One of the best being how the Hitman escapes from his hotel room when raided by an army of Russian cops using a bomb attached to the door and a rope hanging over the balcony. The ensuing chase through the hotel is superbly done. Olyphant is a revelation in this role. His performance is understated but charismatic. The look of the Hitman is very cool to say the least and Olyphant carries it off with style. Olga Kurylenko as the prostitute he comes to protect is also very good in this, boding well for the next Bond movie she's starring in, Quantum of Solace. Dougray Scott is also effective as The Inspector, an Interpol agent whose sole obsession is to track the Hitman down. I expected a childish video game movie but was rewarded with an excellent thriller featuring a great new action hero.
I will certainly be investing in the DVD and I hope they do a sequel.