Director: Xavier Gens
Country of origin: France
To be fair, Xavier Gens has merely shown signs of potential eliteness. In his best feature-length work to date, the 2007 French horror hybrid Frontiere(s), Gens displayed a real knack for staging unrelenting, forcible carnage, overtly acknowledging genre influences like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Descent with startling moments of lavish bloodshed. That sense of gory macabre returns in the upcoming anthology The ABC's of Death (available on VOD January 31), in which Gens tackles the letter X in the finely tuned, intensely horrific vignette "XXL."
Clearly, dude should stick to horror, because if his 2007 attempt at stylized action cinema, the video game adaptation Hitman, is any indication, Gens has no shot at becoming France's answer to Michael Bay. Starring the good but hindered Timothy Olyphant (Justified), Hitman wastes away for 90 minutes with hammy dialogue, confusingly shot action sequences, and a distracting lack of tension.