Hitman: Agent 47
Hitman: Agent 47 sticks closer to its video game source material than the previous film, but feels rather bland and repetitive for an action film. It's a mixed bag of brainless entertainment.
Aleksander Bach’s Hitman: Agent 47 is the latest Fox reboot that attempts to breathe new life into an established character. The film is based off of the popular third-person shooter video games, with Hitman: Agent 47 sticking closer to the source material than the previous entry, while also coming across as a dull and bland action film with little charm and lots of repetition. Agent 47 isn’t a horrible film, but it looks and feels cheap in a way that points at this being yet another studio attempt at making a new franchise without putting in any actual work.
Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) is a genetically engineered soldier of war also known as an assassin. He’s the best of the best and he’s from a program that was shut down for good reasons, but now the organization is trying to pick up where one scientist left off, which causes them to hunt down the daughter (Hannah Ware) of the man that started the Agent program in the first place.
Now, Agent 47 must get to this girl before anyone else does or else she will be killed and guys more monstrous than 47 will be created and used to destroy the rest of the world.
Hitman: Agent 47 is director Aleksander Bach‘s debut feature. In Bach’s defense the film isn’t terribly shot, with Bach managing to capture the look and feel of the video games in a way that feels far more natural than Fox’s previous attempt at bringing the video game to life.
Bach shoots action rather blandly though, with lots of the hand-to-hand work coming off as repetitive and lifeless. It’s kind of cool watching 47 absolutely kick the shit out of five guys within fifteen seconds, but then the second and third wave of guys come in and the film starts to lose its charm. Suddenly you’re caring less and less about 47 and the people that he’s fighting or even why they’re fighting in the first place.
A lot of this has to do with the film’s completely misfired script, which puts significant importance onto things that matter very little to the film as a whole, with focus shifting on characters at random.
Agent 47 has moments that are completely over-acted by guys like Ciaran Hinds and Zachary Quinto that are immediately followed up with a silly and poorly rendered action sequence.
Sometimes said action sequences work and feel like giant winks to fans of the games or fans of brainless action flicks, but sometimes those action sequences are cringe-worthy in execution and feel very cheap, especially for a wide-released studio film.
There’s also a lot of shortchanging that happens towards the end of the film, which leaves things too open for a sequel. Questions aren’t exactly answered and the film rests too much of its closing moments on something that might never happen, especially with Fox’s current box office climate growing cold. Just look at Fantastic Four and how that turned into a disaster.
Hitman: Agent 47 might catch on and a sequel might already be in the pipeline, but it’s downright lazy writing and filmmaking if you leave too much of your film’s conclusion on an idea that might come in the next film without any certainty.
Rupert Friend‘s Agent 47 is something to somewhat praise. Timothy Olyphant‘s portrayal of the popular video game character sort of expanded into something different and less Agent 47-like if that makes any sense for those of you that haven’t played a single game.
Friend’s Agent 47 stays true to the character. His mannerisms and methods are far more stealthy and understandably so. I really enjoyed how closely he felt to the games versus Olyphant’s less methodical and more action movie star approach.
Hitman: Agent 47 should make up for the last film in terms of pleasing the die-hard fans, but those looking for an action movie with some definition and bad assery (is that a word?) might be underwhelmed with Agent 47‘s complete lack of story and constant use of the same action techniques in almost every other scene.
The film definitely leans more on the grounded side when it comes to the actual fighting sequences, but some of the bigger action scenes are downright silly and dumb. And I don’t mean that in a fun popcorn movie kind of way.
Hitman: Agent 47 has too many rough edges to be considered for a sequel, but as a debut film director Aleksander Bach does a fine job keeping things leveled. Unfortunately, the film’s script is so weak and in dire need of a filmmaker that can elevate the material and bring it to life, which Bach doesn’t exactly do. He tries, but there’s just too many wrongs that don’t add up to make a right.