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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Brief Thoughts: Hitman: Agent 47 (Movie Review)

I really enjoy putting my reviews together.  I honestly wish I could delve deeper into certain movies, but alas, I get incredibly busy and can sometimes only deal with movies to a briefer extent than I would prefer.  This is why I write these occasional "Brief Thoughts" posts on movies I have seen, as I want to at least offer some of my own perspective on them.  They may not be as polished, but I can at least get my opinions out there. This Brief Thoughts post will be focused on Hitman: Agent 47, the second attempt to make this video game movie work.


Hitman: Agent 47: 1 1/2 out of 5


To its credit, Hitman: Agent 47 is not ashamed of itself. With some overdone CG coming at us thanks to some of the B-team at ILM, a handful of fight scenes choreographed by the stunt guys who directed John Wick and the decision to screen the film for critics, clearly this second attempt to bring the video game series Hitman to life was one that would hopefully yield some decent results. It's just too bad writer Skip Woods continues to have no idea how to turn an exceedingly simple concept into a decent B-movie.

Of course, one has to wonder how easy it is to bring the character of Agent 47 to the big screen. As opposed to Max Payne, which has a character that is both full of angst and can handle himself with a gun (two to be exact), 47 is more or less an emotionless Terminator that never misses his targets and certainly does not have to worry about being killed. The player can just start over in the game and the movie will certainly never actually place him in true harm's way. Keeping these things in mind, one also has to remember that Fox made a Max Payne movie that forgot to have action, so the chances of taking a one-dimensional character and making the focus of a film around him worthwhile was slim to none.

Homeland's Rupert Friend takes over for Timothy Olyphant in a film that serves as another try to get it right. I could go over the plot details, but who cares. It involves and evil organization, some lost girl (Hannah Ware) who happens to also be a genetically engineered super assassin, and a wacky Zachary Quinto character who cannot be killed. A lot of people are going to be shot throughout the duration of this movie and rarely does 47 do more than power walk his way in order to reach his targets.


Now, being that this is a video game movie, there is no reason I should be expecting much, right? Wrong, even in a B-movie, I shouldn't have to say, "Well they tried, so credit goes to everyone showing up for work and putting something together." Every film gets a fair shake and while Hitman was never going to be an out-of-this world action-drama that really relates the intensity of being a detached assassin, while also delivering on stunning action sequences, it could have at least been fun and it really isn't.

There are no characters to really have fun with, no matter how wild Quinto's eyebrows are. The plot made me yawn the second it started to get into gear (which is within the exposition-filled opening credit sequence). The action would be decent if it was not all so repetitive. With all of that in mind, there really isn't anything to put forward as something that says, "Wow." 

Perhaps a few shots that echo the game will make fans smile. One or two interactions between 47 and "lost girl" are also fun. That said, this is also the rare film that has too much good-looking stuff in it to even acknowledge as fun-bad. The effects are just a bit too competent and the production values do not suggest a film begging to be acknowledged as campy fun. So what you have left is a bland attempt to cash in (again) on a video game property with a character that isn't that cinematically interesting.

Add Hitman: Agent 47 to the pile of video game films that do nothing to inspire confidence in the next video game film that is on the docket. The only thing left I can say is how 47 at least gets to wear a nice suit and tie. Of course, having just seen The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I've had my fill of secret agents that look really good.

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