Directed by Aleksander Bach and starring “talented” actors like Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto, and Angelbaby (yes, that is her name and not the character she plays), Hitman: Agent 47 made me question how this putrid pile of an action movie was made. Agent 47 (Friend) is a genetically modified human designed to be the perfect assassin. The story follows him as he attempts to track down a woman (Ware) in order to prevent the next iteration of genetically modified assassins.
Now let us get one thing out of the way. This film barely, and I mean BARELY references the video game that it was based on. In fact, hilariously enough, the video games focused on Agent 47 being a stealthy and efficient assassin, leaving no trace of his existence. However, Bach (and whoever else funded this film) clearly had no idea of this and just made Agent 47 into an Schwarzenegger Terminator-esque killing machine, paying no regard to stealth or concealment of identity. Agent 47 even moves like a machine in most of the “chase” scenes near the beginning and middle of the film.
It is hard to make a machine interesting on screen when it has to express itself. The film makes the point that these agents are meant to have no emotion or fear. Agent 47 is boring to watch when he has to do that pesky human thing: talk. In fact, no one in this movie feels like a person, or heck, even tries to express something as a robot trying to express emotion. I will give credit to the one okay actor, Ciaran Hinds (playing Litvenko), who actually tried to emote and seem like he cared about his acting reputation.
The worst crime of an action film is when action sequences or set pieces are bad—those are the backbone and meat of every action film. In this movie, there are so many bad sequences. Only one or two sequences are somewhat creative. The majority of these scenes are bad because the gung ho hitman is, for some confusing reason, slow and methodical in the fights. He takes forever to take cover from fire. He makes it so elegant and slow that you wonder how the bad guys did not get a good shot on him. There was a sequence near the beginning where 47 faces off against John Smith (Quinto) at a subway. In the immediate moment of the face off, Smith ducks and rolls, literally rolls, from one side to another while trying to shoot 47, who has not even shot a round or taken cover. Agent 47, in response, walks, yes walks, to cover while firing back. He should have been shot countless times, but action movie luck saves him. This is really pushing our suspension of disbelief as movie reviewers. Too many times did I want to yell in the theater, “How did you not get hit?”
Hitman: Agent 47 does a fantastic job at shooting its own professional assassin foot—twice. This is the second film to be made out of the video game, and somehow it was worst than its predecessor. It is not the worst film ever, like Rotten Tomatoes’ 7 percent seems to claim it to be, but it is by no means an okay film.
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