Hitman - Agent 47 - Did They Even Play the Games?

Marter | 21 Aug 2015 12:00
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Directed by Aleksander Bach. Produced by Adrian Askarieh, Charles Gordon, Skip Woods, and Alex Young. Written by Michael Finch and Skip Woods. Release date: August 21, 2015.

Despite being a critical failure and not exactly a large hit with the fans of the videogame series on which it was based, 2007's Hitman actually made a decent amount of money, and at one point there were plans to create a sequel to it. Those eventually fell through, and it looked as though the six people on the planet who wanted another Hitman movie were going to be disappointed. But then it was decided that a reboot would take place instead. Now we have Hitman: Agent 47, which is, indeed, a reboot, although I don't think it really matters, given that the only plot that anyone can even remember from the first one was that there is a guy, named 47, who is also a hitman.

47 is now played by Rupert Friend, who takes over from Timothy Olyphant, one of the only good parts from the last film. He has been genetically modified to be a superhuman killer, which means he has more strength, speed, and intelligence than a normal person - but with an inability to feel pain, remorse, or even love. Does that take some of the thrill out of the action scenes? Of course it does. We never question whether or not he's going to win against normal people. As such, we need another enhanced individual, who in this case is "John Smith," played by Zachary Quinto. Both individuals want Katia (Hannah Ware), because they want to get to her long-lost father (CiarĂ¡n Hinds), who is the man behind the genetic modification program. Oh, and Katia has clairvoyance, or something that acts just like it, further reducing the thrill of the action scenes.

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What's the end goal? I don't know if it matters. Someone needs to die, countless unnamed henchmen will be killed in the process, 47 and Katia may or may not wind up getting along, and several hundreds of bullets will be shot, most of which will miss our protagonists and kill the bad guys thanks to the aforementioned super skills - not that you'll be able to tell, since the action scenes are choppy, busy, and fail to give you even a sense of your bearings, let alone tell you who's doing what to whom. When there are three cuts between someone winding up for a punch and the punch actually happening, you know something's gone wrong.

Essentially what Hitman: Agent 47 feels like is playing one of the franchise's videogames on easy mode, and also not understanding the fundamental concept of the game, which is to be stealthy. I mean, the second game was subtitled "Silent Assassin" for a reason, right? The film is just a free-for-all shoot-em-up, but with an ice-cold main character. How is this supposed to be fun? He can't lose, he can't show emotion, the action is repetitive - it's about 90% shootouts - and it's about as stupid as a movie can get. Its attempts at being intelligent come through when it tries to talk about whether or not free will exists, but it winds up a superfluous thought that feels as if it was tossed in just so the filmmakers could say that their movie is "about" something.

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