Originally published in The Oswegonian September 2015
Take every action movie cliché you can think of: the damsel in distress, the seemingly unstoppable bad guy, the unflinching anti-hero and the head of the evil corporation, bent on getting his way no matter what the cost. Now, add random fights, gunfire, car chase scenes, as well as the occasional sarcastic quip and put it into the context of a video game world and what do you have? The answer to that would be “Hitman: Agent 47.”
There are many things that can be said about “Hitman: Agent 47,” including rebooting and re-imagining. Many have even said that it is a sequel to the 2007 Hitman movie, but it is not. Let’s just say that “Hitman: Agent 47” is an attempt to breathe new life into bringing this video game world to the big screen.
In the film Agent 47 (Rupert Friend, “The Young Victoria”) is a fearless, emotionless killing machine who was engineered to be that way since birth. This was done as part of an experiment to create assassins called Agents. However, when the lead scientist played by Ciaran Hinds (“Game of Thrones”), realizes that there are those who wish to use his work for their own evil purposes, he disappears, vowing to not let his work be used for evil.
Many years later a group is close to replicating the project. Agent 47 and those who employ him know that nothing good will come of this, so they set off to attempt to find the former head of the project. Agent 47 decides his best option is to track down a woman (Hannah Ware, “Old Boy”) who may have ties to his past and use her to find the missing scientist. The group Syndicate International also realizes the woman may be the key to everything.
This is where the story starts to unfold.
Not having seen any of Rupert Friend’s other work kept the urge to compare this to any of his previous characters at bay, although there will be plenty of comparisons to this portrayal versus the 2007 version.
If you like your action movies light on plot points, then this is the movie for you. The audience is given bits of the backstory here and there, but that just serves as a transition from one action scene to the next. Some of the scenes in which Agent 47 dispatches bad guys are, to put it nicely, a little graphic.
Overall, the movie is not bad as far as shoot ‘em up action movies go. It satisfies the audience’s craving for action while giving just enough story to keep the movie rolling. I think that having Zachary Quinto (“Heroes,” “Star Trek”) and Ciaran Hinds is a good move in order to add some name recognition and star power to the film, which may be enough to get some to go see it. However, this film, like its predecessor, will most likely find its true audience on DVD with the gamers and fanboys which will probably be enough to earn it a sequel or another attempt in the future.
Rating: 3 out of 5