Hitman: Agent 47 – 2.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

hitman agent 47Hitman: Agent 47 – 2.5/5 – There’s a very prevailing thought in the movie industry that all video game movies suck.  Since the initial adaptation of Mortal Kombat to the big screen, there hasn’t been another one that was a complete good experience.  With this latest Video Game adaptation, the prevailing thought is to be entertained.  On the surface, this is a film riddled with lots of problems.  On the other hand, there is enough focus on the better parts to make it entertaining.  In the end, Hitman: Agent 47 is your typical video game adaptation that does enough to stand out but not separate from the pack.

Premise: A legendary Hitman teams up with a woman to uncover mysterious related to their past.  As layers are lifted, revelations are made and both of them must confront the truth.

There are two main leads in this film:

Rupert Friend as Agent 47

Hannah Ware as Katie

These two do a great job in providing strong characters within the lack of development from the script.  Outside of doing the best in exuding some worth with the terrible lines for them; they are completely immersed in their roles.   From the enigmatic Agent 47, to the feisty but smart Katie, you believe the characters as real people. Rupert Friend is the personification of who is Agent 47 is from the video game.  He is smooth when communicating, assertive within his approach and precise within his skill execution.  Everything that he brings to the screen provides a strong focal point in the film.  Katie starts off as a damsel in distress archetype female character, but quickly morphs into an atypical female trope.  Hannah Ware gives a great transitional approach from damsel to heroine (through some help with Agent 47).  The dynamic in their relationship feels like any kind of ‘agent duo’ from any other action film, but it is this dynamic that stands out as a positive.  When it comes to the rest of the cast, they fall in line with the typical wooden archetypes you find in a generic action films.  The one that personifies this is:

Zachary Quinto as John Smith

His ‘name’ is as blatant as his one dimensional acting.  His character is stale, unemotional and doesn’t prove to be a true formidable foe for Agent 47.  His cheesy one-liners will make you cringe, showing you one of the many things wrong with the script.

The direction follows the basic outline of any generic action film.   In any basic outline of an action oriented story, we have the following:

Back story Exposition (Prologue)

Introduction to the protagonist/antagonist and typical ‘damsel in distress’ archetype

This eventually leads down one of two paths plot angles:

Plot 1: A ‘deception’ plot twist where the good and bad guys are not who they seem; main characters on the run until (plot device) forces them to confront bad guys for final showdown

Plot 2: Main character(s) are faced with ‘world changing’ situation; hero’s tale and must save (insert plot point) from villains and (insert worst case scenario).  Commence a mixture of exposition, emotional moments and ultimate confrontation between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ characters.

With this being an adaptation, the film takes you down the path of Plot 1.  From here, the ‘lack thereof’ of development within the script brings about a predictable twist that foreshadows many things that will happen in the film.  Even when it is all too obvious, there is an attempt to combine the convoluted plot points with the Hitman lore from the game.  The overstuffing of all these elements provides a spotlight on the weaknesses of the script; attempt at emotional/tonal situations with linear storytelling.  With this technique, you have repetitive scenes where one character speaks with forced emotions that are countered with a predictable reaction of the same from another character.  This causes the dialogue to feel wooden, and ‘important’ scenes come across unemotional, wooden and obvious.  This brings about the cliché one-liners and forced exposition; playing the audience as fools.  This brings the overall experience to a dull sensation.  What stops the movie from going over the cliff is its focus on the main characters and the action.  From the close combat sequences between Agent 47 and other foes, the chase scenes to the intense violence; it is quick, precise and a complete adrenaline rush.  The director does a good job in infusing the main characters (Agent 47 and Katie) with these sequences to outlast the simple script.  Once the film gets to the climax, it is the typical ‘ultimate’ confrontation between the good and bad guys.  Even with this commonality of the situation, it ends in a way that will satisfy action enthusiast and fans of the video game.

The visuals are some of the worst CGI I have seen in recent years.  The CGI detracts from the big action sequences that do happen frequently.  It is very obvious that it isn’t aesthetic to the transitions happening within these scenes.  Opposite the terrible CGI sequences, everything else is relatively good.   From the hand-to-hand action sequences in close quarters to the sweeping landscape camera techniques, you are brought back into the film and characters through these approaches. The score doesn’t have a real allure in the film, but it is they typical loud sounds and quick instrumentals used to correlate with the action.

Hitman: Agent 47 is your typical Video Game Adaptation.   If you have that ‘guilty pleasure’ kind of aura with these films I say tackle this at a matinee.  If not, you can wait to rent this film on Blu Ray.

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