2 Hitman movies were derived from one great game. But Hitman is more than a video game franchise. It’s in fact an iconic video game franchise. And so is Agent 47, the main protagonist in the franchise. But it’s not the first time that I write about assassins here at IndieGala. The post about Assassin’s Creed was a fun throwback to the Assassin’s Creed movie. It wasn’t a particularly good movie (unlike the video game), but it showed potential.
However, I can say the same thing about the two separate Hitman movies. They showed a lot of potentials, but the final execution was terrible. Good intentions, terrible final product. But besides, the two separate Hitman movies, I’m going to tackle the age-old question. Why can’t Hollywood deliver a decent video game adaptation? I mean the best-rated video game adaptation on Rotten Tomatoes is The Angry Birds Movie. So, there’s that.
Want to play HITMAN in HITMAN 2?
In that regards, I’d highly recommend that you give HITMAN™ – Game of The Year Edition a try. It’s part of our IO Interactive A/S sale and part of our summer sale. Not to mention, it’s also the topic for my post. And let’s not forget that once you own it you may play it in the sequel, HITMAN 2, as well.
The HITMAN Legacy Pack brings remastered and enhanced locations from HITMAN Season One to HITMAN 2. All living under one ever-expanding roof and building one World of Assassination. All six locations – Paris, Sapienza, Marrakesh, Bangkok, Colorado and Hokkaido are accessible as downloadable content (DLC) and will incorporate various new features from HITMAN 2.
But before I dive into the good and the bad of both Hitman film adaptations, I must mention several things. The premise of the game itself and the struggles of Hollywood in the making of video game adaptations. First things first.
HITMAN™ – Game of The Year Edition (What’s the game all about?)
Honestly, the premise of the game is fairly simple. You get to play the game like the famous master assassin Agent 47. In the gameplay, you can also travel the world and on exotic locations, eliminate your targets. Your weapons of choice are plentiful and it’s up to you to decide. From the good old gun, a katana, fancy sniper rifle, or even exploding golf ball. The world is your oyster. Even some expired spaghetti sauce is on the menu if you are daring enough.
And what is also included in this game to help you with your deadly missions? The Patient Zero campaign featuring 4 new missions, 3 new Themed Escalation Contracts, 3 new agent outfits and 3 new weapons as well. Not to mention, the 3 bonus missions and a very special holiday mission too. Which one? Find out for yourself. Or you can read a bit more about the game from my colleague’s review.
Why can’t Hollywood make a decent video game movie?
Well, according to the research I made on the subject, there are several reasons for the poor quality of Hollywood’s video game adaptations. First and foremost, because most of the people involved in the adaptation haven’t even heard of the game in question. They haven’t even played it, and don’t have the slightest idea on how to translate the story and transfer it on the silver screen. Which is a shame because both movies and video games involve storytelling in their core. The outlets are just different.
Warcraft is one example, while Doom and Silent Hill are others. In most cases, the screenwriters and the producers are not gamers and are doing it solely for the profit. Because of Hollywood…But don’t think that comic book movies are much better in that department. We still have people like Zach Snyder whom admittedly haven’t read the comic books he was turning into movies. On the other hand, Todd Phillips a different story. Also, he admitted that he is not a comic book fan (hasn’t read a single DC comic book and openly mocks them), but he did well with the Joker. So, although not perfect, the comic book adaptations are slightly better than the video game adaptations. But I digress.
Were the 2 Hitman movies on the same level as Doom and Assassin’s Creed?
The video game stories are way too varied to fit in a 2-hour movie. So, in that regard, I suppose it was a good decision to fit the Witcher series into a TV series then. Also, most games make you feel like you’re IN the game, and on top of that have non- linear stories. Indeed, not that many people in Hollywood can pull off non-linear storytelling without confusing the audience.
I suppose Christopher Nolan is one of the capable ones, but yeah… I can’t see him directing a Red Dead Redemption film any time soon. Also, Hollywood tends to please the entire audience (including the non-gamer part of the audience). So what they do is they water down and dumb down the story. How? By removing key parts of the story, to the point that it doesn’t make any sense.
And last by not least… You just know that Hollywood studios will throw money on the most unnecessary aspect of the video game adaptation. A-list actors to attract the audience, expensive VFX effects, and marketing. Lots and lots of marketing. Instead of talented directors/screenwriters that could actually do something about the story. It’s sad but it’s true.
From the 2 Hitman movies I’ll pick the lesser of two evils
It’s true. When it comes to the Hitman movies, I’ll choose the lesser of the two evils. Which means I’ll choose the 2007 film adaptation over the abomination that was Hitman: Agent 47. I agree that they’re both uninspired, but I can somehow find redeeming qualities in the 2007 movie. I can’t find any of that in the 2015 film adaptation called Hitman: Agent 47.
First and foremost, I’ll pick Hitman because of the presence of Timothy Olyphant. Far better actor and far better choice for the role of Agent 47, hands down. He’s an incredible actor and he even managed to steal the show in this otherwise mediocre movie. Olyphant is my pick for Agent 47, but don’t get me wrong. The movie didn’t live up to my expectations, despite the actor’s efforts and commitment.
However, the supporting cast really worked well with Olyphant (for the most part) and as basic as the direction was, somehow it made sense here. Especially in the action scenes. Yes, the plot was confusing and weird, but it tried to stay true to the story. As much as it could. Yes, much of the dialogue was generic. But it’s far more watchable than the 2015 adaptation. I’ll get to that in a minute, but even the great Roger Ebert gave the movie a favorable review.
“Hitman” stands right on the threshold between video games and art. On the wrong side of the threshold, but still, give it credit. Roger Evert said in his review and I agree with the master. Roger Ebert was seldom wrong.
Where do I begin with Hitman: Agent 47?
Seriously. It’s that bad. Frankly, the presence of Zachary Quinto and Ciarán Hinds didn’t make up for the terrible plot and horrible acting on behalf of the lead actor- Rupert Friend. However, of all the media outlets, it was Kotaku that actually gave this movie a good review. It was a surprising movie, but yeah… according to their journalist/critic, it was fine… Just fine. Also, the latter film was made with the sole purpose to produce several sequels, but I don’t see any of them happening to be honest.
I’ll be the first to admit that while the first movie really made you feel like you are in the video game, the second was a lot grittier. However, what this movie lacked the most, were the stealth elements. The elements that make Hitman what it is. A stealth game. Not that 2007’s Hitman had an abundance of stealth elements, but it had a lot more than this piece of junk. Also, it had lousy supporting characters, and plenty of ridiculous action scenes. Not to mention the horrible direction from Aleksander Bach. It’s no wonder he hasn’t made a movie since Hitman: Agent 47. Seriously 2007’s Hitman looks like a masterpiece compared to the 2015 version. But hey, watch them both and let me know which one you prefer.
#KillBussey or #KillCole?
And in case you missed on the great marketing that the Hitman video game had back in 2016, here’s a slice of some of the best advertisement that was probably ever created. A type of Kill Pool between two Gary’s. Gary Busy Or Gary Cole? Which one would you choose to get him wacked? Two of the greatest Hollywood legends competed for the ultimate honor. Of being killed by the world’s best assassin – Hitman’s Agent 47, of course. Fans of the game got to vote on which one of the two actors can become the target in the game, and (SPOILER) Gary Bussey was declared a winner. He was even given the code-name- WILDCARD (seems appropriate) and you can imagine that it was a glorious hit. Gosh I wish the movies had this level of marketing sassiness. Perhaps it would have soften the blow caused by the lack of quality. Nice influence marketing don’t you think?
You don’t believe me? Check it out. Hit play and marvel at the glory.