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Ridiculous as it seems, we had hoped that the Hitman movie might not be rubbish. After all, you've got one of gaming's coolest cats, Agent 47, and his globe-trotting career choice of killing people for money. He's a bald, mercenary James Bond. How could the film not be a winner?
Well, by the looks of this first trailer, there are plenty of ways to foul up a perfectly good idea. For example:
1. Reinvent the lead character - a man who's been born artificially and raised purely to kill - as some kind of savior of mankind.
2. Introduce the inevitable damaged-but-blisteringly-hot love interest, because a man firing guns for two hours just can't maintain our attention.
3. Dress it all up in some weary, sub-Dan Brown prophecy nonsense about Agent 47 being the man "to strike down evil."
4. Script it with your traditional, seen-it-all-before plot about someone trying to betray Agent 47.
Admittedly, Timothy Olyphant looks the part, though he seems a little too emotional to be the Agent 47 we all know and love. But there's nice operatic music, some good shots of him stalking through a crowd and plenty of click-clunk hardware to satisfy the guns 'n' ammo fetishists.
We'd have preferred a more intelligent story, though, perhaps inspired by The Matador's comic-self-awareness. Or even something blatantly, shamelessly focused on action, just without all the predictably twisty-turny surprises we tiredly expect from most thrillers nowadays.
Don't mind us, we're just irritated. But wouldn't it have been nice, given that Hitman's videogame escapades have always gripped us with their own well-crafted plots, for Hollywood to just leave things as they are?