Once again, here we have a game in which I have never dabbled, nor do I have many friends who have ever talked about it. As far as I have researched, however, the games largely deal in stealth. Starting with 2000's 'Hitman: Codename 47', the games are semi-open world, third person, and the aim is to eliminate the targets assigned to you, being as stealthy as possible. They feature a cloned hitman known only as Agent 47, who works for the fictional ICA (International Contract Agency), and was genetically engineered to be amazing at his job - seen as the world's best assassin.
The film certainly takes some of these elements, but I find things do get a little more convoluted than they really needed to. To confess, it may have been a bit of a lack of interest on my part, but I found myself confused from time to time while watching this, having to look up the Wiki synopsis just to get back on track. It's another movie where I can easily see others getting more out of it than I did, because for some reason, I just never got into this series... which is super weird, because playing stealthily is one of my favourite ways to play, ever since I played 'Manhunt', which actually came out three years after 'Codename 47'.
Anyway, concerning the plot, we open with the image of a group of young boys at some facility getting barcode tattoos on the back of their shaved heads, which 'Dark Angel' did first, but I digress. These guys are trained in all sorts of specialties like unarmed combat, weaponry, demolitions etc. This is something we've seen a bunch of times at this point, most recently with 'Black Widow' - kids trained from a young age to become assassins. We then fast-forward to present day where Interpol agent Mike Whittier (Dougray Scott) runs into Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) who holds him at gunpoint, and they discuss 47's life, raised and trained to be a pro hitman by a group known as "The Organization".
We then go back three months earlier, when after completing a job, 47 is contacted by his handler, Diana Burnwood (Lisa Ray-Jacobs) to take out Russian President, Mikhail Belicoff (Ulrich Thomsen). 47 seemingly carries out this task, but is later contacted and told that the attempt failed. He is then to take out the apparent witness to his attempt, Nika (Olga Kurylenko), who also happens to be Belicoff's mistress. Soon enough, 47 realizes that he has been setup, and a body double for Belicoff is trying to take things over, and they find themselves on the run from the Organization who seems to be behind everything. Like I said though, I was confused through much of this, and by the time it was over, I just plain didn't care. I can't quite put my finger on why, but this wasn't for me, despite its total potential.
I think for yours truly, much of the problem lies in that whole backstory of training assassins from childhood, seemingly against their will. The real difference here is that 47 is still working for The Organization rather than being that one hero who escapes their mad clutches. Otherwise, it's not something I'd say is necessarily bad, but I'd suggest that it wasn't quite for me. I cannot put my finger on it, but for some reason I completely seem to lack an interest for anything 'Hitman'. It sounds like a series that would be up my alley. But I suppose it lies in the characters - I just don't care about anyone here. 47 is an asshole, Nika is full of herself, and this feels like a situation where you have no idea who you should be routing for.
So, while It's definitely not my favourite video game movie, I may yet suggest that it's passable for others. As mentioned earlier, my knowledge on these games is slim to none, so whether or not they got various things right here is beyond me. I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record saying stuff like that, but there's a lot ahead that I'm probably going to feel the same about, so my readers may want to get used to it. As a stand-alone movie (treating this a little more like 'Resident Evil') this isn't that bad, it's just not something I'm particularly into. It's got solid action and atmosphere, and Olyphant plays things pretty darkly here, which I appreciate. But the plot is seemingly all over the place, and there was nothing that really absorbed me into things. Consider this one on the higher end of its overall rating.