So I am taking a break from my usual stuff
to tell you about something magical: a video game movie that is awesome.
Now, we can almost all agree that video game flicks suck. They are almost always made by big movie industries for some quick, easy money. Just picture the scene: a table of men in black suits sit around a table. The man in front speaks...
Studio Boss: Now men, what can we make to appeal to those teen aged boys? How can we mine their money from them?
Executive 1: Well sir, how about a movie based on (enter name of popular video game here)
SB: Why yes...isn't that that new videoed game I heard about? It made (random video game company) millions! How can we make that much too?
Executive 2: Well we can throw a script together using the same character names, hire on some big name actors and make sure there are tons of explosions.
SB: Brilliant! You all make me happy! Go milk that franchise for all its worth!
(Scene ends with everyone laughing and rolling in piles of money)
Damn those greedy bastards! Why don't they care about us little guys? We just want a good video game movie! Is that so much to ask? Now, I have seen a lot of these video game movies. Super Mario Bros, Tomb Raider I & II, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, the first couple Pokemon films, Silent Hill, Doom, Final Fantasy, hell even Alone in the Dark, I have seen them all. While many of these films are not bad in their own right (I actually really enjoyed Silent Hill and Doom), they are never what we as gamers expect. It's just the truth. We always expect the characters to sound, act, and behave in a certain way. We want the characters in the movie to accurately portray the characters in the game. Usually, things always get lost between game and film. I have come to expect it. So when I sat down for Hitman, I had this little voice inside telling me "don't expect too much. After all, it's just another video game movie."
I look back and can fully say that I was totally wrong. The movie did something that I have really only seen snipets of in oter VGM's. While watching Hitman, I actually felt like I was playing the game. Now, I have felt this before. While watching Silent Hill, various shots were used to call attention to the game. For those who didn't see it, during a couple shots, the camera stayed perfectly still while the actor moved into the shot and then out again, just like the games many shots. I also think of the long first person seuqence in the movie Doom. Holy hell, I remember cheering with my roommates as this long shot let us, the viewers, slay some demons for a second. These tell me that the movie makers know the game, and want to preserve aspects of the game that people remember.
While watching Hitman, I couldn't help but feel like I was playing through a level from some new game. The action sequences were always proceeded by a calm Agent 47 walking to his destination, planting weapons, dropping unneeded by passers, and stuffing them in boxes. As I watched, I couldn't help but think "these are things I would have done," or even "I wouldn't have done that! I would have yadda yadda yadda." I have NEVER said that during a VGM. I didn't feel like I was watching some re-imagination of Hitman. I felt like the movie was the next game in the Hitman series. And Agent 47 is still the same by the way. He is cold, heartless, distant, and really only concerned about getting the job done. At one point, some bad guy is telling the good Agent (who is pointing a gun at said baddies face) that there is another way. "You kill me, you go away for life. You let me live and we can work something out" (I paraphrased here). Agent 47 looks at him, and pulls the trigger. Bad. Ass.
Long story short (too late), I loved it. For creating a video game movie that actually worked (in my mind) I give this movie a 8.5/10. It looses a point for the somewhat flat acting of Tim Olyphant. But I give him some credit, because playing a heartless bastard like Agent 47 has to be ridiculous. Plus, he kicks some major tail in those fighting scenes. Well played, Hitman movie. Well played.
PS: That little duckie up there? Yeah, he's in the movie too. That made me smile.