I will confess I am not much of a gamer, and so when I saw the original movie version of Hitman in 2007, I wasn’t even really aware it was based on a popular video game. The movie was, I guess, enough of a profitable hit globally to constitute this sequel or reboot eight years later, but time, a new director and a casting change has not improved the product. As I say in my video review (click the link above) it is still the same old shoot-’em-up, dumbed-down action stuff we have seen over and over.
Borrowing from everything like Terminator to Mission: Impossible to Bourne and even a similar plot element from another opening this week, American Ultra, this edition of the hoped-for 20th Century Fox franchise doesn’t offer many compelling reasons to see it, rather than play it. Rupert Friend of TV’s Homeland has taken on the Agent 47 role this time (previously it was Timothy Olyphant). With a bald head and a pronounced barcode burned into the back of his neck, this genetically engineered uber killing machine is just what the government ordered. Turns out he’s on a mission to end the program that created him in the first place, and between all the gunplay, fights and nonstop action there are some lame dialogue scenes (the script is from original writer Skip Woods and Michael Finch). 47 doesn’t really have much to say anyway — he speaks with his weapons.
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Along the way he hooks up with the mysterious Katia (Hannah Ware), who has a talent for seeing the future and may be able to help him; another dubious personality out to “protect” her named John Smith (Zachary Quinto); and eventually the scientist (Ciarian Hinds) who incubated these agents in the ’60s. After a deadly encounter, the action moves to picturesque Singapore, where 47 and company must face down the evil Syndicate Organization which is out to expose and preserve the lethal program that brought life he and his predecesors and do harm to the world by creating even more powerful knockoffs of this agent. And watch out for Mr. Smith, 47. He’s tough to get rid of. This is one of those movies where you can’t seem to ever kill anyone. They just keep coming back to life. Yawn.
Director is first-timer Aleksander Bach who gives this all a by-the-numbers approach for this type of genre exercise, but I assume he kept the trains running on time. Producers are Adrian Askarieh, Charles Gordon and Alex Young. It all goes by in a mercifully quick 96 minutes, but if you are a true Hitman fan I would say skip it and play the game instead. Fox releases today. Do you plan to see Hitman: Agent 47? Let us know what you think.
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