Hitman: Agent 47

Hitman: Agent 47

In Theatres: 
Aug 21, 2015
Running Time: 
96 minutes

After a few missteps in the early days, Hollywood has finally managed to deliver an almost constant stream of solid superhero films. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for film adaptations of video games with the majority of them having poor reception. Still, Hollywood apparently sees value in them because there are more adaptations in development than ever. One day, we’ll have the video game equivalent of Iron Man. Unfortunately, Hitman: Agent 47 is not it.


Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) is the result of a secret government program that was designed to genetically engineer superhumans with heightened senses and the ability to feel no emotion making them the perfect assassins. The program itself was dissolved, but an agency known as the Syndicate is trying to recreate the formula in order to establish their own army of Agents. The key to the formula lies with the program’s original creator, Dr. Litvenko (Ciarán Hinds), who has disappeared off the grid. Agent 47 is called into action in order to prevent the program from being reinitiated and, with the help of Dr. Litvenko’s daughter Katia (Hannah Ware), must find him before the Syndicate does first.


The story was never the most integral aspect of the video games and neither is it with the film. Essentially all you need to know is that Agent 47 is the ultimate assassin, and when he has a contract, there is nothing anyone can do to stop him. He’s machine-like in his precision and only performs what is absolutely necessary to complete a task. In that regards, the film is very much like the game.


Agent 47 is not some Rambo-type soldier who goes into a fight guns blazing. He’s an assassin who utilizes his environment in addition to firing a well aimed headshot. Rupert Friend does a much better portrayal of Agent 47 than Timothy Olyphant did in the original Hitman from 2007. The best sequence of the movie plays out like a beginning tutorial of the game; Agent 47 and Katia are trapped together in a machine warehouse and must escape. Rather than rush the incoming soldiers with guns drawn he teaches her how to stealthily take them out one by one. Unfortunately as the film goes on it becomes less about the spirit of the game and more about him leaving a path of destruction in his wake.


Hitman: Agent 47 actually starts off with an interesting premise. Agent 47’s contract requires him make sure that the program doesn’t become reactivated, meaning that there’s a hit out on Katia as she’s the only one who knows where to find her father. 47 is like the Terminator, an unstoppable assassin who do anything to complete his mission. Once he and Katia team up, however, it’s just another generic action movie.


A couple of decent action scenes aren’t enough to save Hitman: Agent 47 from mediocrity. The dialogue is absolutely atrocious, and the story meets the bare minimum requirements to move the film along. You don’t really get a sense for who Agent 47 is actually working for or what their end goal actually is. Like the game, it’s mostly about the contracts themselves and the gruesome manner in which you can kill your targets. The main difference is you’re not actually playing, but just watching. Where’s the fun in that?

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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