The Hitman—20th Century Fox (Blu-ray)
Movies based on video games generally don't make for great cinema. There have been a few exceptions, but they are VERY few and far between. I wasn't expecting much going into this one but it didn't turn out too bad. I am not that familiar with the video game series (which may have helped) but I couldn't help but notice the parallels between other games I've played. The scenarios and characters were a bit one dimensional, like most games. The nice thing is, this film has enough plot to keep the action going, which is all one can demand from a popcorn film. The action choreography and stylish cinematography also keep things pretty cool. My only real complaint is the lead actor. While I like Olyphant as an actor, he didn't have the weight for this type of role in my opinion. I guess I've just seen too many films about professional killers that gave the killer a more impending tone.
Fox has been one of my favorites when it comes to consistency in HD presentations and this one is another great offering on Blu-ray. The film has a very stylistic look with sharp contrast and slightly elevated color tones, but it isn't too over the top in any area. Detail is excellent for the most part, especially fine detail, and depth of image is always strong. Blacks are slightly elevated at times giving a somewhat flat look every once in awhile but brighter scenes can be striking.
The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is what one would expect from this type of action movie; loud. The low end of the soundtrack gave my wife and I a nice massage throughout the entire second half of the film and I don’t think I would be exaggerating if I called the mix a bit "hot". The soundtrack is nice and open and the action sequences deliver some decent dynamics from the gun play. Surrounds add enough to the mix to keep it interesting but I didn't think the sound design offered anything new.
Fox is testing the waters a bit with a new "digital copy" feature. This Blu-ray release comes with a second disc that has a digital standard definition copy of the film that can be downloaded onto your Mac or PC for use with iPods or other portable media devices. This is an interesting concept that adds a bit more value to the package, especially since Fox didn't add anything to the MSRP. As for standard features you get a couple of production features that have interviews and behind the scenes footage, deleted scenes, an alternate ending and a gag reel.
This is fun popcorn action with good style and gun play. I didn't get anything new out of it and there are plenty of other films in the same genre that are a lot better, but I didn't feel like I just wasted two hours of my life like most video game movies.