Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets Pushback

May 31, 2012 -

Several opinion pieces take aim at the latest trailer for Hitman: Absolution. The trailer, dubbed "Saints," borders on being offensive, according to some because it depicts the sexualization of violence against women. In a nutshell the trailers play out a fight between Agent 47 and several fem fatales disguised as nuns. Under those Catholic uniforms are the buxom forms of women who are clearly not dedicated to the service of the church. As the group of nuns approach the hotel room where Agent 47 is staying they strip off their disguises to reveals skimpy leather outfits.

The next scene shows Agent 47 emerge from a freshly blown up hotel room to violently beat and kill his attackers who are still wearing the trademark headgear of holy sisters.

The arguments in these articles at The New Statesman, IGN, The Mirror, GamesIndustry International, Kill Screen, Computer & Videogames is that this trailer sexualizes violence against women. Here's a choice quote from IGN:

"This is difficult imagery. This would be difficult imagery even if it was tasteful. But it is not tasteful, it’s grotesque and tacky and actually quite dangerous. Let’s be clear here: the problem is not that Agent 47 is graphically murdering a group of women, though that’s pretty nasty. It’s that it fetishizes the violence and sexualises the women, drawing a clear line between sex and graphic violence that makes the trailer really distressing to watch, and leaves you questioning who the hell it’s designed to appeal to."

We'll leave the arguments to the editorial pages, but you can decide for yourselves by watching the trailer below. WARNING: The video is not intended for anyone under the age of 17 (the game is rated "M" for "Mature" by the ESRB). It may also be considered NSFW, though there's no sexual content in the trailer (just wanton violence and death).


Comments

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

I know if I was planning on fighting a highly trained assassin my first choice of outfit would be latex an 6 inch stiletto heals.   Whether or not the trailer sexualizes violence against women is debatable.   What is clear is that its it a nonsensical trailer that plays in to the assumption that all gamers are 13 year old boys who will go for any game that shows some skin and has over the top violence.

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

Not sure why people are mad about this.  Have they been paying attention?  Movies have been doing this for decades.

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

Evil fetishy women are a pretty old trope for over-the-top action-heavy movies and games, in fact these remind me quite heavily of the latex-wearing Nazi dominatrixes (dominatrices? I don't know) that showed up in Wolfenstein several years ago. Bloodrayne flipped the script and made the evil fetishy woman the protagonist. And it was cliche when those games did it too. The point is, while this does sexualize violence against women to a degree, it's not as though these waters have never been treaded before. Also it should be noted that they attacked Agent 47 first smiley

The biggest issue I have with this trailer is that the game it's advertising is from a series that is typically not over-the-top or action-heavy, and it almost seems like a joke to attach something like this to the Hitman series. It's like they suddenly decided to let Michael Bay direct video games.

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

Well, they did ask for it; Really now, you think 47 is just going to let you blow him up?

In all seriousness, I've seen worse in most recent action movies and yet again, video games are still the primary target (which is funny, since this is a cinematic movie, not a game).

I'm more surprised that someone hasn't gone all whack-o and said he's killing nuns, because that'd just be hilarious.

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

And zippy thought he didn't know how to use words correctly. =0-o=


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

I'm on the fence with the sexualisation of violence part. I need to give it more thought. But I'd have to say that the outfits are a misogynistic and completely unnecessary affair typical of any entertainment industry. It would have been far better if they kept the female assassins in their nun outfits, maybe using them in clever ways integrated into the fighting.

I mean, do we really need to be shown that they are actually a group of assassins by a costume change into skimpy leather and heels (WTF?) when the assortment of weapons kind of gives it away? Even if you don't see the misogyny, surely most would agree it's just stupid.

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

Misogynistic?  No.  Unnecessary?  Sure.  Stupid?  Up for debate but I'd say it's more nonsensical and silly than stupid.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

Oh yes. It is an absolutely stupid trailer.

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

Mountain, molehill, yadda yadda yadda...  These people seem bored.  Maybe they should spend more time playing video games and less time inventing reasons to be offended.

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

Didn't give the articles too much attention but I love that all the comment sections I was able to read are largely people going "LOLWUT?!" and totally taking the idea it's sexualising violence apart.

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

I don't see how this sexualizes violence any more than any other game that features women fighters. 

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

I don't agree that the trailer sexualizes violence.  The women in the trailer are sexualized by virtue of their outfits and stances but the violence performed by and against them is not the least bit sexualized.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

When you highly sexualise characters* and then lovingly linger on their deaths within the same scene, you sexualise the violence whether you intended to or not.

When a lot of the shots are focused on 'thigh shot, tits shot, arse shot' and you combine that with extreme violence, it looks sexualised.

No, it's not as blatant as a character being shot before turning to the camera, winking and pulling her shirt open but it is still unavoidably there and incredibly blatant.

 

*Not that these are characters. Their entire purpose in the trailer is to provide T&A and die.

Re: Op-Ed Beat Down: Latest Hitman Absolution Trailer Gets ...

"When you highly sexualise characters* and then lovingly linger on their deaths within the same scene, you sexualise the violence whether you intended to or not."

No, you don't.  And there's only one shot in the trailer that could be described as "lovingly" lingering on a death but it's not in the least bit sexual.

"When a lot of the shots are focused on 'thigh shot, tits shot, arse shot' and you combine that with extreme violence, it looks sexualised."

Sure but that's not what happens in this trailer.  Watch it again.  All the cheesecake shots (which could number 2-6 depending on how picky you are) are at the beginning.  Once the violence starts, there isn't a single "thigh shot, tits shot, arse shot."  Not one.

"*Not that these are characters. Their entire purpose in the trailer is to provide T&A and die."

And show off what an indomitable badass Agent 47 is.  Couple other things too.

Also, yes, they are characters.  They're not complex but that doesn't mean they aren't characters.  By that standard, neither is Agent 47.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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