Hitman: Agent 47 Review

Whoa! Somebody did not get the memo that this was supposed  to be a Hitman movie. Was it an entertaining action flick? Sure, it wasn’t terrible. Did it have anything to do with the source material? Nope! Not even a little bit.

Now I do consider myself rather well versed in the world of Hitman. After Metal Gear, it probably is my favorite videogame franchise. I’ve played all the games except for the first Hitman: Codename 47 (did not have a gaming PC in that era) and Hitman: Blood Money (did not have an xbox360 at that time). So I do feel like I know enough about the Hitman universe and how things should feel in a Hitman related product. And I can tell you that this movie doesn’t even come close to feeling like anything related.

By the time we see the title of the movie adorn the screen, Agent 47 has stacked up a higher body count than I have during the decade long period of playing Hitman games. The core mechanic, and the whole point of these videogames is to devise a strategy so that you can slip in unnoticed, take out JUST the target and exfiltrate, keeping the casualties to a minimum. Stealth! But not in this movie. Agent 47 is dropping fools left and right. With A LOT of fanfare.

So, were there no nods to the videogames at all? As far as I could tell; the only Easter egg we get, is a shot of a bathtub with a rubber ducky and a bread toaster. Sure, there is some double handed gunplay going on and some environmental takedowns, but that is it.

Once I came to terms with the idea that this movie was going in its own direction, I tried to enjoy and judge it for what it was. And what you get is a mediocre action movie. It’s somewhat annoying when a movie pretends to debate some smart themes (DNA modification, playing God), but then goes and insults your intelligence with some dumb shit. There are so many inconsistencies in this movie; how does one run to the top of a building and still knows where to look for a fleeing car? I’m willing to let some of this stuff slide in a “popcorn movie”, but come on, there are limits.

The actor portraying Agent 47 is a good fit. And the movie does a good job of depicting him as a badass. None of the attempted comedy connected with me, and I don’t think I heard anybody else laugh or chuckle in the theater. Unless, of course, there was no attempt at comedy.

The female lead wasn’t very interesting, the origin of her motives remain unclear throughout the movie. And the way she just decides to trust random strangers is awesome.

And then there is Sylar. Yep, that dude from Heroes. In this movie he goes by John Smith, but it might as well have been “Sylar”. He is basically the same character with the same set of powers and the actor even portrays him the same way. I know that Zachary Quinto has more range than that, since I do like his Spock. But let’s go out on a positive note. There were a couple of entertaining action set pieces. Out of character for Agent 47, but still nice. Towards the end, there is a particularly beautiful scene, with some amazing cinematography and fitting Tarantinoesque music. But right after, they go and ruin the moment with some Charlie’s Angels gun posing. Maybe there were too many different people involved with designing the action.

Keeping the focus on the positive; the name of the female protagonist is Katrine van Dees and the wordplay that they have in store for that is probably the coolest thing in the whole movie.

The scene with the antagonist and the creator of the Hitman program has some nice acting and probably the best dialog in the movie.

Finally, I was surprised to not have lost interest or focus towards the end of the movie. So there must have been something right about the pacing.

In closing; I can say that I’m pretty disappointed that this was another bust for Hitman. It’s an entertaining, albeit pretty standard action film, that has almost nothing to do with its titular source material. So in whole honesty; I cannot recommend spending money on this film. There is just too little there.

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