Not-art Ebert on Hitman film

Helps his point, apparently.

Film critic Roger Ebert has used his review of the new Hitman film to revisit his critique of videogames as an art form - or, rather, not being one.

"The movie, directed by Xavier Gens, was inspired by a best-selling video game and serves as an excellent illustration of my conviction that video games will never become an art form - never, at least, until they morph into something else or more," Ebert writes in a review published online.

Pointing out that he found Agent 47's "lonely self-sufficiency" intriguing, he says that "to the degree" the film explores his relationship with female character Nika "it is absorbing".

Having given that much away, he heads quickly to the point he wanted to make: "Other scenes, which involve Agent 47 striding down corridors, an automatic weapon in each hand, shooting down opponents who come dressed as Jedi troopers in black. These scenes are no doubt from the video game.

"The troopers spring into sight, pop up and start shooting, and he has target practice. He also jumps out of windows without knowing where he's going to land, and that feels like he's cashing in a chip he won earlier in the game."

Agent 47 without "the obligatory video game requirements" might have been more like Le Samourai, he says, ultimately concluding that the film stands on the wrong side of "the threshold between video games and art".

Ebert is a firm proponent of the view that games are not art, having argued the toss plenty of times in the past. Then again, he probably hasn't got the "Little Rocket Man" Achievement in The Orange Box and he looks like he spawn-camps.

The Hitman film is due in cinemas (British ones, anyway) from 30th November, and stars Timothy Olyphant.

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About the author

Tom Bramwell

Tom Bramwell

Contributor  |  tombramwell

Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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