REVIEW: “Hitman: Agent 47”

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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.

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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.

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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.

VERDICT – 1.5 STARS

1.5 stars

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30 thoughts on “REVIEW: “Hitman: Agent 47”

  1. Kudos for taking the hit (pun intended) on this one sir. I’ll catch it when it comes on cable or something. It didn’t even look like that type of movie that you know is bad, but despite that it’s still entertaining. It just looks bad lol.

    • You nailed it. It’s biggest offense is its blandness. There is absolutely no zest or energy. It is one emotional flatline from start to finish. Trust me, you aren’t missing a thing.

  2. Yeah, reviewed this recently too and it was so bland that I actually forgot pretty much all of it by the next day. That doesn’t often happen. And although I admit it isn’t a great videogame movie I still love Mortal Kombat 🙂

    • Mortal Kombat is weird. I can’t honestly call it a “good” movie yet at the same time I really like it. A lot of it is tied to nostalgia. I remember seeing it opening weekend in a pact theater full of fellow gamers. Had an insanely fun time. I watch it now in the cheese is so thick. But I still smile and have a good time with it.

  3. Great post, I totally agree with everything you said. The movie did have a good action scenes but the story line was terribly weak and just like you said it is a misery that it is so given how awesome the video games are with very good resources that could make a great movie. It’s quite unfortunate that so far movie adaptations of video games havent made any huge success but well let’s stay hopeful. Great post again!!

  4. Pingback: Game Over, Man! Game Over!

  5. I agree pretty much with everything you wrote, Keith.

    “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 was one of my biggest issues with this. I think chances were slim that this would have done impressive things at the box office no matter what direction they took. With that said…why didn’t they just truly honor the source material instead of a bland actioner? It was very puzzling to see Agent 47 open fire in public. I can hardly remember any stalk kill/sequence. I bet that if they tried to truly honor the source material, this could have been a cult classic. I think the director has some talent to do other action movies.

    Other puzzling things about this movie:
    1. Why did they hire the same writer from the failed 2007 Hitman movie to pen this movie? (then again, maybe it is a pseudonym since “Skip Woods” has written great films like X-Men Origins and A Good Day to Die Hard).
    2. Audi must have given them tons of money for that opening scene. Product placement x10.

    • Great points man! The writing thing is spot on. I don’t get it. And you are so right. This had more automotive product placement than The Transporter (which was also a good film). And this didn’t feel anything like the game. Aside from Friend’s appearance, his Agent 47 could pass for any common, forgettable action protagonist. Nothing interesting or unique about him.

  6. It’s true – the games have great source material to work with, and yet it seems they can’t get one movie right. Ugh. And I was all for this for Rupert Friend and Zachary Quinto. Not to rush out and see, but I was hoping. Meh, guess it was just not meant to be. Again.

    • Nope. Just doesn’t work. Such a wasted opportunity. Sadly this bad movies tend to paint video games and their adaptations negatively by those on the outside. I sooo hope Assassins Creed changes that perception.

  7. This film is, and I say it with without hyperbole or internet inflation, absolute garbage of the first order. What a waste of everyone’s time, talent and interest. Quinto was awful, Rupert Friend continues to inexplicably have a career, and the entire “mystery” quest aspects of the film were handled appallingly….

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