Director: Aleksander Bach
Starring: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zackery Quinto, Ciaran Hinds, Thomas Kretschman
Written by: Michael Finch and (also story) Skip Woods
Running Time: 96 mins
Release date: 28th August 2015
Films based on computer games have always been problematic. What may be exciting when played by an individual, doesn’t always translate to the big screen. Hitman, a very popular game series about a genetically created walking killing machine, is exciting to play but having had one attempt to bring it to the big screen, with Timothy Olypant in the lead, failing at the box office, it does seem strange to try and bring it back again with a new film. Personally, they shouldn’t have bothered.
Katia is a woman looking for her missing father, a former scientist. She is being monitored by the Syndicate International, a group that are looking out for her best interest, with an agent, John Smith, assigned to protect her. She is a target by Agent 47, a genetically engineered assassin who will stop at nothing until his victim is dead. Yet there is something not right about this mission. Katia isn’t the target but Agent 47 needs her alive.
When playing the video game of the Hitman, most of the time you take absolutely no notice of plot or story line. All most players want to do is shoot people and achieve their goal for the game. Not so with the big screen version. They need some form of plot otherwise you do find yourself watching a series of set pieces and action sequences.
The makers of this uninventive and incredibly boring action film have taken that seriously, so we get a massively complicated story involving genetics and double-crossings, which has to be explained throughout the whole film, in a succession of sequences that go action, exposition, action, more exposition, action, even more exposition.
This wouldn’t be so bad if the action sequences made up for the dull exposition, but they don’t. Instead, we get scenes in which either the camera flashes all over the place, making it almost impossible to see what is happening, or slow motion scenes where characters slide across well-polished floors on their knees while shooting randomly at each other, with the good guys hitting their targets every time, while the baddies miss every time.
When the big set pieces happen, it is literally like watching a computer game, with less impressive CGI. If you thought the effects in Die Another Day were bad, then you ain’t seen nothing yet. It also doesn’t help that the performances, from a usually reliable cast, are as dull as the rest of the film.
Rupert Friend, a very talented British actor, wanders around the film as Agent 47 like a robot, delivering his ridiculous lines with the same flat monotone that is supposed to make us believe he is unemotional, yet it comes across as plain boring. Hannah Ware, as Katia, handles the action scenes fine but she too, has some truly awful lines while Zachery Quinto just looks bored with the whole thing and can’t wait to return to playing Spock in Star Trek.
Hitman: Agent 47 has no real merit whatsoever. Aimed exclusively at teenage boys who love seeing blood splatter all over the place, this has no real interest to anyone else. Forget looking for invention or creativeness here. It doesn’t exist. If sleep is needed, then this might be the film for you.