Movie Review: 20th Century Fox's Hitman: Agent 47

Hitman: Agent 47

MPAA Rating: R
Release: August 21, 2015
Director: Aleksander Bach
Screenplay: Skip Woods and Michael Finch
Producers: Charles Gordon, Adrian Askarieh, Alex Young, Skip Woods
Cast: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto, Ciarán Hinds, Thomas Kretschmann
HITMAN: AGENT 47 centers on an elite assassin who was genetically engineered from conception to be the perfect killing machine, and is known only by the last two digits on the barcode tattooed on the back of his neck. He is the culmination of decades of research – and forty-six earlier Agent clones -- endowing him with unprecedented strength, speed, stamina and intelligence. His latest target is a mega-corporation that plans to unlock the secret of Agent 47’s past to create an army of killers whose powers surpass even his own. Teaming up with a young woman who may hold the secret to overcoming their powerful and clandestine enemies, 47 confronts stunning revelations about his own origins and squares off in an epic battle with his deadliest foe.

When I think of films based on video games, recently I think of the movie John Wick. I think of John Wick because when I watched it last year, I thought John Wick would make a great video game, but this isn’t a post about video games, it’s about movies, or, really, one specific movie Hitman: Agent 47. As movies go, Hitman: Agent 47 was remarkably unremarkable. It was just “meh.”

Hitman: Agent 47 is another one of the many reboots coming out of Hollywood. The original film was named Hitman (2007). Hitman was based on a series of video games by the same name. The 2007 film was fairly financially successful, bringing to life the current incarnation. This time around Rupert Friend plays Agent 47. He’s pretty easy on the eyes. And he’s got a knack for fashion, if you like the killer business-suit types. I didn’t have any issues with him or his portrayal of the part. Rupert Friend gets a thumb’s up (and a quick wink.)

Unfortunately, I was not so enthused by the rest of the cast. Zachary Quinto plays John Smith, a baddie with a liquid-metal nervous system. I wasn’t buying it. Last I heard Quinto was in a Tennessee Williams play on Broadway. I’m sure he is perfect for a Broadway stage. He was not perfect as a gun-toting assassin. His action scenes seemed rigid and overly-choreographed. And because Hitman: Agent 47 is an action film, the action sequences need better than okay. Hannah Ware (as Katia van Dees) rounds out the starring cast. Ware is supposed to be a genius assassin, but I wasn’t convinced about her, either. I appreciate strong female roles. I just don’t feel that she fit into the cast. And I couldn’t tell if she was lacking chemistry with Quinto or Friend, but something just seemed off.

I had a tough time following along for the first fifteen minutes of the film. Much of Hitman: Agent 47 is non-verbal. The film is just over 90 minutes long. There isn’t enough time for long stretches of dialogue and long stretches of action in the shorter run time. I needed more words. There are still parts of the movie I don’t understand.

Still, I can’t call Hitman: Agent 47 a bad movie. It had its fun moments. There was cool music, interesting gadgets and many sleight of hand tricks. But there are a lot of shoot-em-up movies out right now. This one doesn’t distinguish itself. There is nothing spectacular or memorable about it. You may enjoy it more than I did. See Hitman: Agent 47 for yourself, playing in theaters now.

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