The Source for Parents


Movie Reviews
by Jonathan McKee and Todd Pearage

Hitman (3/11/2008)

Rated R for strong bloody violence, language, and some sexuality/nudity (the DVD is unrated)

Directed by Xavier Gens (First Feature Film)

Staring Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko, Robert Knepper, Ulrich Thomsen, Michael Offei

Jonathan's Rating: Skip it

Todd's Rating: Skip it

Based on the popular videogame, Hitman is the story of Number 47 (Timothy Olyphant), a bald assassin raised from birth by some group called “The Agency” to be a killer. 47 (yes, that’s his name) with his shaved head and bar-code tattoo is trying to find out why moderate Russian presidential nominee Belicoff was the client for his own assassination. A hit that 47 pulled off perfectly, except for one hitch: the target is still alive. Add Nika, a Russian prostitute sold into slavery by Belicoff, and another assassin hunting them both and you have the big-screen version of Hitman.

TODD’S WORD: I was so disappointed…and I had really low expectations.

JONATHAN’S WORD: Yeah, this one was disappointing for me because the director shot some really pretty shots and did some creative action sequences… I really liked the “look” and feel. But that’s about the only redeeming value this film offers. It lacked storyline, character development, and most of all, discretion. Perhaps fans of the video game might find it more interesting than most.

TODD’S WORD: Maybe. But as for most of us who are NOT familiar with the game… this movie makes even less sense.

Director Xavier Gens knows how to keep the action moving and how to frame some very spectacular action sequences. There's lots of Bourne-style flashbacks and superhuman stunt work that all looks very cool but we never really get to know 47. You can’t blame Olyphant, who was great in Deadwood and Die Hard 4. Here he doesn't have much to do except look cool and kill people.

JONATHAN’S WORD: I agree. I think I saw more character development in the Rambo films.

TODD’S WORD: It was pretty clear to me that this movie was made for a very specific audience…the 14-year-old male video-gamers who were looking forward to the nude scenes (and they got their fill). The sad truth is there is nothing about Hitman that is redeemable or worth taking the time to see it. It’s gratuitous in every sense of the word.

JONATHAN’S WORD: You’re right about “gratuitous.” Hitman, went all out: gratuitous blood, gratuitous sex and nudity… I guess they wanted to tick off conservatives and liberals with this film.

And it’s really sad that this movie’s un-named target audience was probably tween and teenage boys who were fans of the video game. This film delivered nothing less than true rated R content.

If you are still wondering if your kids should see a rated-R movie about a hit man, complete with plenty of sex, full frontal nudity and violence… hmmmm… I’m not sure what else to say.

Side Note:
As said above, we don't recommend your kids see this film. But on the occasion that they actually have already seen it, you may want to dialogue about the film with them. These questions below may be a help to you

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?

  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?

  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?

Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee is the author of over a dozen books including the brand new More Than Just the Talk, Sex Matters, The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three kids Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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