Hitman: Agent 47
Starring Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto, Hannah Ware, Ciarán Hinds
In 2007 I predicted that the success of the Resident Evil series, would lead to more films featuring characters that originated from video games. Hitman: Agent 47 is the latest in what is now a long line of video game based feature films. The Timothy Olyphant version barely broke even, and now eight years later, 20th Century Fox brings us more of the same, it with a new cast and special effects that occasionally miss the mark. Olyphant was relatively unknown when he was cast as Agent 47, as is English actor Rupert Friend (Pride & Prejudice), commonly known as Keira Knightly’s ex-beau. Agent 47 serves as a reboot, instead of a sequel, since hardly anyone saw the first one. Yet it makes the same mistakes by offering up characters we don’t care about in a plot that looks and feels like it should be on television instead of a big screen.
For years Katia (Ware) has been trying to understand the memories and flashbacks she has of her father (Hinds). She also has the ability to sense things before they happen, which has, until now, kept her from harm. John Smith (Quinto), a super-agent from a group called The Syndicate, joins Katia to protect her from the deadly assassin known as Agent 47 (Friend). Both the assassin and The Syndicate want Katia to lead them to her father, the famed scientist who created the agent program and later destroyed it upon realizing the destructive power it was capable of. Katia is the only link to her father and now a war rages between the two sides to get to him first.
Friend brings less to the role than Olyphant the original.
If the first film focused more on a sleek look to distract from the mildly entertaining action sequences, this reboot appears interested in nothing but action and violence. To the trained eye, you will easily spot the cheap special effects that cheat the more dangerous or complicated stunts. As the film opens, one can’t help but yet again compare this fledgling franchise to that of the embarrassingly successful Resident Evil series. Agent 47 has lots of walking, running, and dangerous glances, but it never finds a reason for the audience to care about a single character on screen.
Hitman’s carchase scenes and stunts make this film look like a bargain bin movie compared to this Summer’s hit films like Mission Impossible or Furious 7. The depth of the characters is paper thin while recognizable actors like Quinto (Star Trek) and Hinds (Game of Thrones) are cameo-like. What’s worse is that for all the blood splatter, helicopter explosions and gunfire Agent 47 is boring and it’s really hard to focus when you just want everyone to die so the movie will end. Friend brings less to the role than even Olyphant did while Ware soaks up most of the screen time as your stereotypical female action star.
Once again video game audiences might care, but general audiences will be bored senseless.