Film Review “Hitman: Agent 47”

Hitman Agent 47Starring: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware and Zachary Quinto
Directed By: Aleksander Bach
Rated: R
Running Time: 96 minutes
20th Century Fox

Our Score: 1 out of 5 Stars

The award winning videogame franchise, “Hitman”, has yet to create anything worthy of a film award, unless we want to start talking about Razzies. But I’ll concede that it’s damn near impossible to create a decent movie based on a videogame. A videogame story is easily understood because the person diving into it is ready to spend 25-40 hours with the main character, being the character, and interacting with the world the character inhabits. We have a fraction of that time in a movie. So, the idea of creating a videogame movie is an insurmountable task, but there’s no reason it should suck this much.

The perplexing story starts with a narrator giving us meaningless exposition about characters we have yet to meet and don’t care about yet. It then shows us Agent 47 (Friend). He comes after a long list of agents, biologically engineered to be uncaring killing machines, in an unexplained agent program. We watch him do what he’s been trained to do as he violently disposes of multiple people so that he can track down the whereabouts of Katia Van Dees (Ware). She is an even more mysterious person on the search for a man that she doesn’t know. In fact, she doesn’t know why she’s really searching for him or what he means to him. Hoping to get a hold of Katia before Agent 47, is John Smith (Quinto).

So who do these people work for? That’s a really great question that the movie never really answers or seems to bother itself with. Maybe Agent 47 is working for a syndicate interested in rebooting the agent program. Maybe he’s working for a world power that’s hoping to create its own agent program. Maybe he’s working for it’s a nefarious conglomerate hellbent on restarting the agent program. Simply remove Agent 47’s name from the previous questions, and put in Katia and John’s name where his is and you begin to see the problem.

What’s even more bizarre is that while it doesn’t explain what’s going on with these people, it feels really predictable when Katia and John deduce/admit who they are. Every five minutes it feels like a new person is directing the movie and there’s no clear direction or narrative in general. When the action stops, it’s dreadfully boring. But even when the killing flares up we’re simply watching these three characters interact while unnamed soldiers, police, henchmen, and guards get caught in the crossfire or become fodder for lazy kill scenes.

For being an alleged action movie, “Hitman: Agent 47” is about as entertaining as watching someone who’s watching someone play a videogame. It’s a bit morbid to say that “Hitman: Agent 47” should spruce up the joy by having fun murdering countless people, but it’s true. Watching an expressionless person kill an expressionless person followed by more expressionless reaction elicits about as much excitement in me as winning a game of solitaire in my downtime at work.

If my may indulge my nostalgia for a second…way back in 2000, I played the first “Hitman” videogame at a friend’s house. We had a blast, had our eyes glued to the screen, and talked about the game for weeks at school. We wasted hours on it and couldn’t wait to waste more on the inevitable sequels that were to follow. To those who created “Hitman: Agent 47”, you have tainted that memory with your garbage movie.

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