Hitman Agent 47 is taking another chance at rebooting this franchise after the 2007 film, simply titled Hitman after the video game of the same name with Timothy Olyphant, wasn’t quite well received at the box office. Filling in Olyphant’s shoes is Rupert Friend as Agent 47. If you have never played the video game, Agent 47 a genetically altered human being who has been bred and programmed to be the “Perfect Killing Machine.” There is even a barcode located at the back of his head, the work of prior decades of research including 46 clones before him. These clones have acquired speed strength and intelligence, even stamina to take out their targets. So his latest target is a mega corporation that plans to unlock the secret to his past. In doing so, he ends up teaming with Katia (Hannah Ware), who has multiple secrets of her own. In all this comes a need to find the scientist who started it all (Ciaran Hinds), who also happens to be Katia’s father, and a villainous rogue agent (Zackary Quinto) who is also looking for her.
To say that the film is a complete mess would be an understatement. It attempts to get as much story out of the way by providing an overly convoluted introductory sequence that narrates the creation of these soldiers and what their purpose is. Then, the film is just one poorly constructed action sequence after another. It skips from scene to scene and barely gives the audience any time to digest the information thrown at them. Thus, who cares?
It’s understandable that Agent 47 isn’t supposed to convey emotion, but Rupert Friend’s performance is so one note that it’s too easy to not care about him. This is the same for everyone else in the picture, and it’s particularly noticeable in Quinto’s performance. It seems he actually has difficulty spitting out the terrible lines that are supposed to pass for his dialogue. He is a good actor with not much to work with. Rupert Friend performed his action sequences with ease, but has little chemistry with Hannah Ware. This could have been explored further but the script didn’t allow for any kind of emotion or substance so inevitably any ideas they would have had fell short. The one-liners are unnecessary, unfunny, and undeniably terrible. Not surprising since the Hitman: Agent 47 is accredited to Skip Woods, who brought us some terrific pieces of junk like Swordfish, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and A Good Day to Die Hard.
The action sequences were developed by the team from John Wick. There’s definitely some style to what goes on in the scenes. Some of the backdrops where the action takes place, like in Singapore, look slick and inviting. Agent 47 also looks crisp, spiffy, and dapper killing people in his suit and tie, much like Keanu Reeves in last year’s far superior shoot-em-up. But even with some well-choreographed action scenes, the action isn’t filmed well, leaving us with a bunch of scenes that look poorly staged and incomprehensibly edited together. Style does not equate excitement in this case.
All Hitman: Agent 47 proves is that video games do not make good movies. This puts even more pressure on the upcoming Warcraft movie as the last beacon of hope for video game fans. Fans of this video game will be once again disappointed by a laughably bad film version of this hit series of video games.