I thought it was just some inconsequential “Tarantino/Rodriguez thing”. Kind of like how Johnny Depp’s blind character decides to wear sunglasses in “Once Upon A Time in Mexico” after his eyes have been drilled out.
It felt very Tarantino-esque in that it has a hint of irreverence and a kind of thumbing-the-nose at needless character behavior and logic (see also: Infamous Banderas Stair Sliding). Honestly, I felt that shaving the barcode and replacing it with a messy band-aid was the director of ABSOLUTION kicking sand into the tradition of Hitman and blowing smoke into the eyes of its fans.
Same thing with the use of small towns, desert roads, 70’s automobiles… Very Tarantino/Rodriguez. And all of it as sort of anti-sophistication (and in my heart that felt very anti-Hitman).
That said, I always felt a “clean Barcode” and opening with a glitzy Paris fashion show, with 47 in a dinner suit all in the new HITMAN was meant as “a counter-statement” against that flavor in ABSOLUTION.
Same vibe I got as well when I saw the new 47 and realized they had “recast the role” and gotten rid of the owl-browed thug who was 47 in HITMAN: ABSOLUTION.