Film Review: Hitman: Agent 47

Director: Aleksander Bach

Starring: Rupert Friend; Zachary Quinto; Hannah Ware




By Hayley Skinner

It’s the sort of crazy plot that would be perfect for a video game, which is exactly where writer Skip Woods has adapted the source material from. Director Alexsander Bach is the latest man to tackle the Hitman franchise with a previous adaptation being released in 2007. However, the problems of the film lie within its overly ridiculous story which didn’t work eight years ago and Bach struggles with all the same issues now.

We begin with scientist Pete Litvenko who has created a group of genetically modified assassins known as ‘Agents’. Fast forward 40 years and the plot centralises around Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) as he tries to track down Litvenko with instructions to kill him in order to stop terrorists finding him and creating an army of hitmen. Friend plays the emotionless assassin who tracks down a young woman Katia (Hannah Ware) in the hopes that she can lead him to Litvenko and therefore prevent the making of anymore agents. Friend certainly looks the part, but that’s about all you can say. Playing a character without emotion leaves only the action sequences to judge his performance on. In one scene he stands with his arms stretched, gun in each hand shooting at random with his black suit blowing in the wind behind him. This may look great but is sums up the style over substance approach the film takes.

Zachary Quinto plays John Smith, an employee and hitman for an organisation known as ‘The Syndicate’, which only reminds you of the far better action film ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’ released earlier this year. He also needs Katia, which leads to a great action sequence in an industrial building. Agent 47 and Katia fight of the men targeting them by killing them off one by one in the goriest ways possible. The scene plays out like a video game with saws, screw drivers and giant clamps all being used to cut, drill and squash any man who gets too close. Although completely far-fetched and ridiculous this is one of the most interesting scenes and director Bach seems to realise he is making an unrealistic film. It’s never supposed to be believable and the action works best when he realises this.

The plot is thin and the action sequences are intertwined with some dialogue and plot explanation in the most formulaic way. Despite this there are a few thrills and you do invest in the story for its 96 minutes, but there is no getting away from the stupidity of the storyline. The problems centre around the dull characters and the unthreatening villain played by Quinto. You do get your fill of fight scenes and car chases, which seem like they were thrown in as an advertisement for Audi. Every car driven, stolen or smashed is an Audi, and it’s not done subtly.

Despite the films problems and its paper thin plot, Friend is believable and does bring the video game character to life, as well as this there are some fun, yet stupid action sequences. Don’t go in expecting something great or anything that will break the terrible video game adaptation trend. Go in expecting stupid and fun and that’s what you’ll get.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);