IN CINEMAS NOW
RUNNING TIME: 93 min
REVIEWED BY: Dr Lenera, Official HCF Critic
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.