When a film’s dialogue is comprised of 80% spoken exposition and 20% recycled cliches, you’re in for a very long 90 minutes.
Movies based on Comics are finally being taken seriously, but sadly, those based on video games are still scraping the bottom of the creative barrell. 2007’s original “Hitman” wasn’t a stellar film by any standard, but it was fun, had some cool moments, and had a vastly superior cast (Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, & Olga Kurylenko) .
Once again we follow the adventures of Agent 47(Rupert Friend), the genetically modified, super-human, killing machine, product of a defunct government program. In other words, Captain America without the morals. The completely nonsensical plot (which we will dissect in a moment) has him chasing down Katia (Hannah Ware), daughter of the man who first started the Agent program (Ciarán Hinds). Along the way, he encounters John Smith (Zachary Quinto), another super-human that may be significantly more advanced than Agent 47 (or not?)
It’s evident that first time director Aleksander Bach was doing the best he could with what he was given. There are slivers of coolness sprinkled throughout the film, but mostly in the forms of artistic shots or stunning Shanghai scenery. Sadly, Rupert Friend is about as exciting as a slightly curved 2×4 on sale at Home Depot. The action scenes are OK at best, but the best stunts are clearly CGI, and the fight scenes essentially slowed down, chopped-up, knock-offs of “John Wick.” With no great performances and dullish action scenes all we are left with is the script, in this case the worst element of the formula. When the dialogue isn’t breathlessly trying to explain backstory that doesn’t make a damn bit of sense, it’s recycling cliches that are so worn out they aren’t even laugh worthy. Such classics as “You are a scared little girl” and “You and I are the same” spring up with vigor. It’s also strange how the film’s motivation, its Macguffin, keeps changing. Are they looking for the Father or the Daughter? Why do they sometimes try to catch and sometimes try to kill them? Why don’t they try and catch Agent 47 (or 46, 48, etc?) instead? Why does Agent 47 (and others) do things that are detrimental to their search? Do some of the characters have heightened senses or full blown ESP?
Looking for a fun action movie? If you’re at the theatre catch “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”; at home watch “John Wick”. Or, if you are really itching for a video game based assassin flick, just go for the original “Hitman” instead. “Agent 47” is a waste of time and money.
Note: What in the world possessed Jürgen Prochnow to make a cameo in this film!?!
Download the Agent 47 prelude comic for free here: http://cmxl.gy/