Hitman


Jet Li seems to be trying to reinvent himself here as an action/comedy star, but I had a mixed reaction to it. I thought the premise of the story had definite possibilities, but then it never really followed through as well as it could have.

In the opening scene a disguised assassin kills a Japanese Yakuza head. The mysterious killer is known as the "Killer Angel" because he accepts no money for his many killings of criminals - so he must be doing it for God. The dead Yakuza had the foresight to set up a fund of $100 million to revenge his possible death. I thought this was going to lead up to every hitman in the world showing up for the $100 MM reward and total bloody chaos occurring, but that just never came close to happening.

Jet Li plays a mainland yokel who came to HK to earn money for his family as a professional killer and Eric Tsang mentors him. In his first attempt, he proves to be too kind hearted. But is this really a front - or is he in fact the "Killer Angel"?

Jet Li is definitely making an attempt to do away with his serious image by doing a lot of comedy bits. And some of it is quite funnyWhat have I created and he has certainly never smiled so much as in this movie. Time is spent trying to build up his character and creating a relationship between Jet & Eric.Two wild and crazy guys out on the town Some of this was enjoyable - but at times I thought it caused the film to lose its focus and drag a bit. In fact, at times it seemed that Jet Li's character was secondary to Eric's. The scene where Eric shoots while flying in the air - ala Chow Yun Fat - only to realize he is out of bullets is hilarious. Simon Yam has a role of a cop looking for the Killer Angel.

But in the final analysis, one goes to see a Jet Li movie for the action sequences and here is where I thought the film really stumbled. First there is no great villain for him to have that one great drag out over the top fight with. Secondly, there are not that many action scenes and there are some long periods in between the action. None of the action scenes came close to blowing me away. Much of the action shots are filmed close up with a ton of edits so you never feel the flow or choreography of the fighting. There is one fight in an elevator that is quite excellent though not very long.

All this said , I still enjoyed the film and appreciated seeing Jet trying to stretch his acting and doing something new.
 

My rating for this film: 7.0