Hitman: Agent 47, 2015.
Directed by Aleksander Bach.
Starring Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Thomas Kretschmann, Ciaran Hinds and Zachary Quinto.
An Assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.
2015 hasn’t worked out quite as planned for 20th Century Fox thus far, with the last few weeks in particular arguably some of the hardest the mighty studio has faced in recent times. Whatever happened on Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four remains mostly a secret, but the experience on their newest comic-book reboot can’t have been a happy camp for all involved, and so goes perhaps their final big box-office bonanza of the summer. But onwards and upwards is the name of the game, and on the heels on that reboot comes another, in the form of video-game adaptation Hitman. Can it find provided some much-needed respite from the ‘doom’ and gloom? Sadly, it only amplifies it.
In a similar fashion to that of FF, Hitman: Agent 47 is a rebooted property that comes with a certain level of both optimism and pessimism as the studio tries its damnedest to make it work. After trying to bring the video-game character to the screen in 2009, it’s now the turn of commercial and music video director Aleksander Bach to take the reins to try and bring this hit character to life; but despite his best efforts, the second time around is no closer to bringing us a Hitman film, or indeed a video-game adaptation, that is worthy of your time.
Coming from a background of music videos, director Bach certainly has a decent eye for style, but with a project such as this it’s hard to truly gage what talents he may possess. Desperate to add “much needed” grit and realism to the fight scenes, Bach and co. follow many others before them revert to the tried-and-tested shaky, hand-held “right in there” motifs that have become so much the norm in modern action cinema that it all feels like the most monotonous of chores. By extension too, the copious amounts of explosions, car chases and shoot-out’s add nothing new or exciting that no other film of this ilk has done so much better.
Sadly, despite Bach’s obvious stylistic endeavours, no about of style can compensate for lack of substance and Hitman: Agent 47 is severely lacking in all departments. Bereft of any coherent story or characters, the film jumps from one dull set-piece to another without as much as a second to let its main players do anything except the aforementioned action-by-numbers. Skip Woods, whose recent efforts include A Good Day to Die Hard, co-writes the new version after drafting the original film, and does nothing to change his reputation in the realms of action cinema. Generic doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Rupert Friend, so impressive in Homeland, is miscast here as the titular anti-hero, despite his best efforts. The biggest problem with a protagonist that shows almost no emotions? We feel nothing towards him or his journey, and by extension nothing he does on-screen, good or bad, ever illuminates our interest. The same can be said for Zachary Quinto; throwing himself into a role that’s more akin to Sylar than Spock, not even he can save this one. And in a year where Rebecca Ferguson lit up the screen in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the same sadly cannot be said for Hannah Ware, who struggles helplessly through the ridiculousness that ensconces her.
Another in a long line of what is becoming a ridiculous amount of reboots to films barely a decade old, Hitman: Agent 47 is another video-game adaptation that fail to bring anything that made the small-screen experience so enjoyable to the big. Dull, vapid and utterly pointless exercise, it’s hard to fully blame messers Bach, Friend and Quinto, but even they must have seen what was coming – one of the year’s very worst.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★