Still looking for that one great movie based on a video game? If so take my word for it, “Hitman: Agent 47” ain’t it. Let’s be honest, it’s not like expectations for this film were through the roof. It’s not like this was a ‘can’t miss’ movie. But these things still don’t excuse the film for being this tedious, this inert, and this unimaginative.
This is the second attempt at bringing the Hitman video game franchise to the big screen. The first film came along in 2007 and was universally panned by critics. This 2015 mess of a movie was deservedly met with the same reaction. The sad thing is the Hitman video games offer plenty of good source material for what could be a fun and entertaining action flick.
This time Rupert Friend plays Agent 47, a genetically enhanced hitman working for a mysterious shadow organization. (Interestingly the role was originally slated for Paul Walker prior to his sad and untimely death). He’s on the hunt for a Russian geneticist named Petr Litvenko (Ciaran Hinds), the creator of the Agent program. During his mission he encounters mercenaries from a sinister group called the Syndicate (aren’t all nefarious groups called that) who want Litvenko for their own criminal reasons.
47 discovers Litvenko has a daughter Katia (Hannah Ware) and sees her as the key to finding his creator. The trouble is the Syndicate has discovered her existence as well. In the meantime Katia is vigilantly working to find out who she is. She knows Litvenko’s face but has no idea he is her father. She desperately seeks him out hoping he can shed light on her identity. Obviously all of these paths eventual intersect which makes up the bulk of the story.
Director Aleksander Bach (in his directorial debut) attempts to add some level of uniqueness through his stylized action – slow motion, revolving cameras, bright sterile environments, even brighter blood. When put together it all looks fine, but I was amazed at how little energy it brought to the film. The action definitely has more fire than the story or its characters, but that’s a pretty low bar.
Rupert Friend is good enough as the emotionally void Agent 47 and Hannah Ware has some decent moments. Zachary Quinto shows up but never feels quite right for his role. But you can’t put too much blame on the actors. The material they are given is just so bland. That can be said for the entirety of “Agent 47”. It isn’t an offensively bad movie. It’s not close to being called good either, and that becomes evident early into the film and doesn’t change.