Saturday 2 April 2016

Hitman: Agent 47

Out now on Blu-Ray and DVD, Hitman: Agent 47, directed by Aleksander Bach, is based on the game of the same name (though based much more on concept than the actual storyline). Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) has been genetically engineered from birth to make him stronger, faster, and more intelligent than a human being can ever be, as part of a programme that was originally set up by Dr. Delriego. After the programme went wrong, Dr. Delriego went into hiding, but now Sanders, the head of a large cooperation, wants to find out how to make such agents so he can create a killer army of his own. Agent 47 teams up with Dr. Delriego’s daughter, Katia, and the two go on an action-packed mission to find Dr. Delriego before Sanders does.

Sounds exciting, right? Sadly, the finished product was nowhere near the expectation fans of the Hitman games franchise had. And it wasn’t just the casting, or the storyline – there wasn’t one part that I thought actually added a positive to the film. The effects were good, but that should be expected given the technology we have for this nowadays.

The plot wasn’t particularly good to begin with – it was increasingly unoriginal, and weirdly hard to follow. I didn’t feel any empathy for any of the characters, and so had no particular interest in how it all panned out. Those that have played the game know that Agent 47 is all about discretion and that sleek finesse you might find from other agents such as Bond. This was not apparent at all in the film – it seemed to be all about fast cars, big explosions (did Michael Bay perhaps take over for these scenes?), and unnecessarily gross ways of killing people. Which can work, but it just didn’t here.

Rupert Friend is known for his great acting in Homeland, but I felt perhaps he is more suited to television roles, as here his acting was only passable. Sadly, he was probably the best actor in the film – even Zachary Quinto, who I’ve always thought was a very good actor, was so bad I was praying he’d morph into Spock halfway through. The worst by far was Hannah Ware, who unfortunately played the main character Katia. I swear to God her voice varied by up to three notes the entire way through the film, and every time she spoke a line it sounded like she was trying to make sense of it. The rest of her acting was also not very good (my favourite bit in particular was her over-acting of waking up after being unconscious – I’m sure you can imagine what that looked like).

Other side characters were okay in the acting department, but pretty forgettable. It wasn’t all the actors’ fault, as the script was just so clichéd that I doubt anyone could have played the roles well. It was almost as if the writer had stolen loads of lines from other action films and then bunched them all together into a vague plot. I got the feeling that Bach really felt he’d created something epic he was filming this, but unfortunately it only appeared as a jumbled, unrealistic mess. Some shots were good, as they felt very game-like, which was a nice nod to the original. Others were really cheesy (but at least they tied in well with the dialogue). I thought the music worked well throughout the film, but even that sounded like a combination of music from both Inception and the Mission: Impossible franchise.

I can honestly say that this film isn’t worth watching, and will most likely be a disappointment for fans of the game. Sure, watch it if you’re all about the action scenes and don’t care about the content and the art of filmmaking, but otherwise I’d recommend you give it a miss and stick to gaming instead.

Hitman: Agent 47 gets a 1/5.


Hannah Read

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