Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast
Hitman: Agent 47 is out this Friday and our Jordan Samuel has already got the angles covered for you with our ComiConverse review.
Films based on video games really haven’t had the best response from critics and the Hitman franchise has been one of these; with the first film coming across as lazy, which was very shameful because the source material is so damn good.
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2015 has been a huge year for action movies with Mad Max: Fury Road and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation proving that the genre is not dead. Sadly, Agent 47 is not on that level, but that doesn’t mean this showing was awful.
Let’s look at the highs and lows.
Genetically engineered from conception to be the perfect killing machine, he’s the culmination of decades of research, endowed with unprecedented strength, speed, stamina and intelligence. Known only as Agent 47 (Rupert Friend), his latest target is a corporation that plans to unlock the secret of his past to create an army of killers even more powerful than him. With help from a young woman, the elite assassin confronts revelations about his own origins in an epic battle with his deadliest foe.
The plot sounds a little generic, but to me Agent 47 feels like it could have been a step in the right direction for the franchise.
Sadly, the story gets really confusing at times – with viewers wondering why various plot points are even necessary. Something about that really bugs me, because without any knowledge from the gaming world many fans will be lost with this film.
I feel like this movie forgets that newcomers might also flock into the cinema to see it; thankfully those who miss out on this flick are not missing much. The story isn’t that interesting, especially with this set of characters.
Rupert Friend as Agent 47 is probably one of my favourite elements here. With each scene he is in channelling material straight out of the games. He feels like the killing machine he is meant to be. Friend also looks the part, with his intense features really lending themselves well to the character, sometimes looking like the spitting image of his video game counterpart.
Hannah Ware, on the other hand, feels completely miscast as Katia van Dees; even though her action scenes are pretty solid. Outside of those sequences, everything about her felt wooden. To say her dialogue is left wanting in this film would be a major understatement.
Zachary Quinto is wasted potential as John Smith, whose character name really embodies his performance, as mindless and generic, the plot also never allows him to be anything more than a glorified henchman. The fight scenes involving him and Agent 47 work really well though – with each punch feeling weighty.
Ciarán Hinds is Dr. Litvenko, the founder of the agent program and Katia’s father. He actually works in the movie, but we never see that much from the character which is my only complaint on that front. When we do, he offers the best counter to Rupert Friend.
I have to give director Aleksander Bach some credit for the action scenes in this film, seeing as story fails this is the only thing that works here.
Nothing here is groundbreaking, but if you are a fan of great fight sequences, then for the most part it will be worth paying for.
Many hardcore fans of the game might be upset about how stealth is handled in the film, because during the film we hardly get to see the stealth elements. Those kind of sequences don’t really work when shown on screen, with everything feeling unnecessary and rushed
The cinematography is pretty mediocre here, apart from one sniping scene that felt very stylish, the rest was filled with bad CGI (especially the one train fight), making the film seem feel cheap on top of everything else.
Hitman: Agent 47 is probably is the best outing in the film franchise, but that isn’t a very high bar. If you want to see some decent fight scenes this summer, then knock yourself out this weekend and see this movie. Otherwise, stay away.
Any hardcore gamers might need to rethink their movie plains and replay the games instead, or just wait for the Hitman game releasing this December.
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