HITMAN (Xavier Gens). 100 minutes. Now playing. Rating: NNN
Hitman stars karate chopper Chuck Norris as a cop who goes undercover as a mob enforcer, presumably so he can karate chop some people. Wait, that was The Hitman. This is just Hitman, which contains just as much karate chopping but 100 per cent less mullet.
Based on the videogame and exec-produced by Vin Diesel, whose next job might be making exercise infomercials with Christie Brinkley, it stars Timothy Olyphant as a cueballed killer who works for a shadowy global assassins' guild with ties to the Church.
He's been contracted to kill the Russian president, and Dougray Scott is the Interpol agent trying to stop him, although he's having trouble getting a bead on the ghostly gunman. Apparently, bald white guys with barcode tattoos on their heads who dress like Republicans and carry heavy artillery can walk through large international airports unnoticed.
The story may be overly complicated and the gunfights less inspired than the average first-person shooter, but there's a certain direct-to-DVD charm to Hitman. That has something to do with Olyphant's clenched-jaw delivery - as though his mouth were wired shut - and his awkward interactions with a Russian gangster's moll (Olga Kurylenko, fulfilling the Eastern Bloc babe requirement usually met by Franka Potente or Milla Jovovich).
It's like a cartoonish version of the Bourne films.