Confession: I have only just recently gotten into the Hitman video game franchise with 2012’s Hitman: Absolution (good game, especially for newcomers), and I have not seen the 2007 movie adaptation of the popular stealth/action franchise. After seeing the new movie adaptation, Hitman: Agent 47, I will say that I wanted to go home and play a Hitman game immediately. Then again, it was only because I wanted to have a better Hitman-related experience than the movie I just watched.
Hitman: Agent 47 follows the title character (Rupert Friend) as he’s given a new contract to complete. His new target is Katia (Hannah Ware), a closed-off beauty with random flashbacks and looking for a mysterious man from her past. She runs into John Smith (Zachary Quinto), a mysterious defender offering to protect Katia from Agent 47. It turns out, Smith is working for the Syndicate, a secret evil organization looking for Katia’s father. It turns out her father helped create the agents like 47 and now they want to make an army of superior assassins. Agent 47 rescues Katia as the two try to save her father and stop the Syndicate.
This is another case of a movie with so many other elements and references to other movies (The Terminator, The Matrix, John Wick) that there’s no room for the film to make its own identity. There is little to no originality in Hitman: Agent 47, with the movie itself coming dead on arrival from frame one to the pointless mid-credit scene at its end. On top of also being rushed at just over 90 minutes, the editing is so annoying. It’s almost as if the movie should open with a warning for epileptics who can’t deal with flashing lights or images, since there are so many quick cuts during action scenes. With all the rapid action scenes and rushed expositional dialogue, it’s surprisingly hard to keep up with what’s going on in the movie, let alone get invested in the entire ordeal. Put it this way: the rich scenery of Singapore used as an exotic location for the climax is more interesting than any of the plot. And there’s no need to worry about that pesky “logic” or “intelligence,” since the movie has so much stupidity in it that the brain could almost go numb.
One thing’s for sure: the acting in Hitman: Agent 47 is numbing, or maybe the actors themselves were numb during filming. Everyone involved, from Hannah Ware to Ciaran Hinds, never acts above a middling octave of involvement. Zachary Quinto may have been using this movie to practice his lack of emotion he uses as Spock in Star Trek, though actually trying to be Robert Patrick’s infamous T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Rupert Friend, donning the Agent 47 suit after Timothy Olyphant in the 2007 film, has the look of Agent 47 right (if perhaps a bit too much youth on his face). But, like the rest of the cast, he’s virtually lifeless on-screen. At best, his lack of emotion is forgivable, since Agent 47 is mostly cold and disconnected in the video game as well. But it’s also a missed opportunity for bringing any depth to the character.
It seems as if every time I thought I saw the dumbest movie of the year, I’m corrected by another movie. At first it was Terminator Genisys, then Fantastic Four, and now Hitman: Agent 47. Rushed, boring and devoid of entertaining value, the movie doesn’t try to do anything original or attention-grabbing. It just goes through the motions without trying to be its own movie. But as I said before, it did make me want to immediately play the video game it’s based on, so…mission accomplished?