Friday, August 21, 2015

Hitman: Agent 47
Releases August 21st 2015
1 hr 36 mins
Rated R
Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller


Director: Aleksander Bach
Writer: Michael Finch, Skip Woods

Rupert Friend as Agent 47
Hannah Ware as Katia van Dees, Agent 90
Helena Pieske as young Katia
Zachary Quinto as John Smith, CIA
Ciarán Hinds as Dr. Litvenko
Thomas Kretschmann as Le Clerq
Angelababy as Diana
Dan Bakkedahl as Sanders
Emilio Rivera as Fabian
Rolf Kanies as Dr. Delriego/"The Hunter"
Jerry Hoffmann as Franco

Review by Stephen M.

Hitman: Agent 47 based on a video game franchise plays out like a video game with some intense action and indiscriminate head shots.  However a sloppy plot and overuse of CGI makes this film only a must see for the Hitman gaming faithful.  While the film is full of shootouts and close combat fighting that will get your adrenaline pumping, the inconsistency by the filmmakers in their storytelling makes it a frustrating ride.

Rupert Friend transformed into the lead, killing machine Agent 47, so aptly named as he is the 47th iteration of a line of genetically created assassins.  Seeing Rupert in person at the fan event in New York and comparing him to his character is such a night and day in appearance and mannerisms.  Besides Rupert, I was also thoroughly impressed with Hannah Ware's performance as Katia, the damsel in distress.  Zachary Quinto's character John Smith while good was not as memorable as the other two.  Regardless of the different scenes, his expression rarely changes.  

As with the action, I am equally amazed and disappointed at the same time.  Amazed at some of the scenes they put together especially in regards to bodies flying and the realistic physics applied.  Disappointment stemming from the realism in the physics giving way to the obvious CGI employed in the scenes reminding you of the movie's video game roots.  A bit of a blur between a live action movie and a CGI cut scene from a game is the best way to describe it, which is not quite what I was expecting.  

The biggest gripe I have with the film is the twists and turns the filmmakers try to utilize but with the effect of twisting the story into a mangled mess.  For example, whether Agent 47 and John Smith are trying to save Katia or kill her.  Another is the villain Le Clerq's reasoning for wanting the creator of Agent 47 to create an army of unstoppable assassins, when they already have shown that they are capable of creating inhumanly fast, strong and bullet proof assassins themselves.

Overall, I would recommend the film if you're a fan of the Hitman game or you are a fan of violent movies.  Agent 47's brutality in dispatching his opponents makes this for adults only for me.  If they continue with a sequel which is quite possible given the ending, then hopefully the script is a bit sharper the second time around.  I would have loved more background info on the organization behind Agent 47 whose liaison was Diana played by Hong Kong star Angelababy.  What did you think of the film?

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