Aug 302015
 

()
Directed by:
Written by: ,
Starring: , , ,

USA

IN CINEMAS NOW

RUNNING TIME: 93 min

REVIEWED BY: Dr Lenera, Official HCF Critic

 

hitman

A corporation known as Syndicate International is searching for geneticist Dr. Peter Litvenko but their agent is killed by Agent 47, who is tasked with stopping the Syndicate from getting their hands on Litvenko by the ICA [International Contracts Agency]. He was genetically engineered to be the perfect assassin, with unprecedented strength, speed, agility, stamina, and intelligence, but is unable to feel guilt, remorse, or fear. His next target is a young woman called Katia. She’s the daughter of Litvekno and is trying to find him even though he abandoned her when she was very young. It seems that Litvenko was responsible for creating Agent 47 and he’s not the only super assassin around….

I suppose I’m probably not the best version to review Hitman: Agent 47, considering that I haven’t seen the film Hitman, nor know much about the games which inspired both movies. The 2007 effort is generally considered to be of poor quality, so one wonders why they decided to use screenwriter Skip Woods for both films. I’ll admit, I expected Hitman: Agent 47 to be truly dreadful, but it’s not too bad, hardly good, but considerably better than, say, Taken 3. The script really is quite bad, with especially lousy dialogue, and it fails to explore the interesting aspects of its premise. Instead we get something resembling a cross between a Bourne movie and a Terminator movie, one big globetrotting chase which, despite all the action with vehicles, guns, hands and feet, gets progressively less exciting because three of the main characters can’t seem to get hurt and keep on getting back up again. Director Aleksander Bach likes the: “wave the camera around and edit a scene to death so it’s hard to see what’s actually happening” style of action moviemaking, though a couple of gun fights are quite well handled and I’ve seen far worse, even this year. Unfortunately, some of the cutting is terrible, most notably during a brawl in a hotel room where 47 grabs an opponent, flips him into the table, while staying down at his knees, but in the next shot, he’s standing way back in the room against the window.

Crammed full of often very poor CGI – I mean can’t they make fake glass, build models and actually blow things up anymore? – this film could almost be a showcase for what’s wrong with action movies [or at least the great majority] today, while Rupert Friend, in a role that Paul Walker was lined up for until his tragic death, doesn’t convince as an emotionless, incredibly powerful assassin, nor try to make interesting some scenes where you’re not sure if his character means what he says or is just manipulating Katia. The acting in general is pretty lousy, except for Ciaran Hinds who, for some reason, really gives it his all. But I dunno….part of me quite enjoyed Hitman: Agent 47 despite its many bad points and rampant stupidity. If you want some mindless action, you could do far worse. It never loses its headlong pace and is, in this age of neutered ‘PG-13’ mayhem, refreshingly brutal. It even does some nice things with set design. Maybe they’ll do a third Hitman film one day and do it right, though from what I’ve heard the games series was inspired by classics like Leon and The Day Of The Jackal anyway.

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Dr Lenera

Dr LeneraI'm a huge film fan and will watch pretty much any type of film, from Martial Arts to Westerns, from Romances [though I don't really like Romcoms!]] to Historical Epics. Though I most certainly 'have a life', I tend to go to the cinema twice a week! However,ever since I was a kid, sneaking downstairs when my parents had gone to bed to watch old Universal and Hammer horror movies, I've always been especially fascinated by horror, and though I enjoy all types of horror films, those Golden Oldies with people like Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee probably remain my favourites. That's not to say I don't enjoy a bit of blood and gore every now and again though, and am also a huge fan of Italian horror, I just love the style.

  3 Responses to “HITMAN: AGENT 47 [2015]: in cinemas now [short review]”

  1. I’m a big fan of the game series and I’ve seen the first Hitman but not this one. I think they’re taking a too blockbuster type approach to Hitman which certainly spoils it. If they employed an older actor, (ideally David Bateson who voices 47) and then made something akin to Leon, it’d be outstanding. I think this project would be in better hands with those who make B-movies or gritty films rather than trying to please people who just want to watch films with explosions and chase scenes. 47 isn’t about that. Less is more.

  2. I had a feeling you would know the games! And it seems like my hunch was right. Though I’m not too familiar with computer games in general, I know enough to know that they’re not all about action, yet that’s what film versions tend to go for. I can see that the premise of Hitman could make for a good low-key suspenser. Maybe one day lol…

    • Yeah, I absolutely love the games so much I burst into tears at the end of one of them. lol. The premise of the game is to kill your targets but although you can do it in any way you see fit, even spraying everyone with bullets, the game encourages you to be smart about it so make things look like an addicent, spike food with poison, tamper with fittings so chandeliers fall on people’s heads, kill people and hide their bodies and take their uniforms and stealthily slink about before using a silenced pistol or fibre wire and taking out the target. With someone who can play the game perfectly, going for a Silent Assassin rating, they’d kill the target without anyone noticing them at all. That’s how the film should be. As you said, a low-key suspense flick.
      Now, if they were making a Just Cause movie, that would definitely benefit from explosions, car chases, jumping out of planes, etc, cos the game is OTT just like that.

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