Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on the mature-rated video game series from Eidos, Hitman the movie centers around Agent 47, a hitman working for a secret organization. After completing a hit on the Russian President, Agent 47 is assigned to kill a witness to the hit. Agent 47 rushes to comply with orders, but soon learns that he has been double-crossed – the supposed witness had never seen Agent 47 before, nor had she seen him murder the Russian President. When he begins to question the motives of this new assignment, Agent 47 finds himself on the other end of the crosshairs as the “Organization” orders him to be eliminated. Agent 47 must stay one step ahead of the same people who trained him in an effort to discover the truth.
Accompanying this action-packed video game-based movie is a soundtrack composed by Geoff Zanelli. Beginning his career as a guitarist in a number of California-based bands, Zanelli soon found his niche composing musical score for movies and television. Zanelli has been the principle composer of numerous movie scores, including Feast, House of D, Secret Window, and Disturbia. He also earned an Emmy for his composition of the musical score for the award-winning Steven Spielberg epic miniseries Into the West.
In the Hitman Soundtrack, Agent 47 is represented by an ominous sounding score that is present throughout the entire album’s composition. Hitman, being an action film, calls for an action-packed soundtrack and Zanelli delivers with fast paced music and rock-style compositions. Tracks may begin in a calm and subdued manner, but they usually end with some sort of dramatic flare denoting the action taking place. The use of electric guitars and percussion instruments are often designated for action sequences. Choir voices are added for intensity.
I loved that the soundtrack begins with Ava Maria, a beautiful and uplifting composition that reminds one of peaceful serenity that can be often found in Church ceremonies. The fact that this is used on the Hitman Soundtrack can mean many a thing. It could be a drastic contrast to everything that Agent 47 has been created for. He symbolized death and destruction, whereas the various versions of Ava Maria resemble peace, hope and love. Ava Maria may also have been used to bring the listener some insight into the mind of Agent 47 as he carries out his orders – after all, many a trained killer has stated that he must be at peace internally before he can fully commit to the task at hand. Either way, the use of this composition in this particular movie is rather chilling. I particularly enjoyed the bonus track of the CD which contains a full version of the song as performed by Christina England – simply beautiful.
I think it’s probably obvious from the above review that I truly enjoyed the Hitman Soundtrack, but I think it is important to include the reactions of the folks who were in the room with me when I popped this CD into the player. Upon hearing Ava Maria, I received various confused glances – what did you say you were listening to again? The Hitman Soundtrack? Ava Maria? Huh?! Upon listening further, interest built, especially when I told them the names of some of the songs – I Take Out the Trash, Train Station (Bite Your Tongue), Undress Me, I Need You to Die. By the time I had listened to the soundtrack all the way through – twice – everyone present remarked about how much they enjoyed the music. When you take into consideration the different individual tastes of each of these people – rock, rap, light music – it’s hard to refute that the Hitman Soundtrack is an awesome creation. Kudos to Geoff Zanelli who has not only created the perfect soundtrack to accompany an action feature, but has composed a musical score that stands perfectly on its own without all of the visuals!