Review: Hitman: Agent 47

Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) wields his lethal trade.

Hitman: Agent 47 is a reboot of 2007’s Hitman, a film based on a video game series about a genetically modified hitman. He’s the best ‘Excellence of Execution’ since Brett Hart.

In this reboot, the hitman is Agent 47 (Homeland’s Rupert Friend) who is on a mission to stop a group named The Syndicate (Hello, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) from rebooting the hitman agent program. The only person who can help restart the program is Dr. Litvenko (Ciaran Hinds), the scientist who created the first round of agents, but he’s been living off the grid since he buried the program decades ago. In order to stop them, Agent 47 must find a mysterious young woman named Katia (Hannah Ware) who is the daughter of Litvenko and the only person he believes can find him before the Syndicate does (Hello, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.).

The Syndicate sends their deadly assassins, lead by John Smith (Zachary Quinto), to track down Katia as well. However, Smith is not your typical agent. He’s highly skilled and equipped with “subdermal titanium body armor” aka he’s indestructible. Really, he has titanium body armor underneath his skin. Sadly, that’s not the most ridiculous thing in the movie.

Agent 47 comes in contact with Katia, and informs her things aren’t exactly as they seem. While the two work together to find her father, 47 provides some on-the-go assassin training as well as some information about her origin.

The predictable global chase leads to an even more predictable showdown between 47, Katia, Smith, and his Syndicate goons.

Hitman: Agent 47 opens with a sequence that could be best described as “John Wick on shoestring budget”. At first glance, the action looks good, but it doesn’t take long to notice it’s hard to track the fight scenes. Instead of choreographed fight sequences  show punches, the film is stocked with quick camera cuts and close-ups of flying fists and feet.  It’s most noticeable during the cringe-worthy Agent 47 and Smith fight in the subway station.

There may not be a lot of good fights, but there are a lot of Audi RS 7’s onscreen. There are a lot of them. It might as well be called Hitman: Agent 47 – Brought to you by Audi. The most notable one is 47’s fire engine red RS 7 that matches his tie. How could you not want that car after watching this movie? It’s nearly impossible when they have car chase scene that doubles as an extended car commercial.

The most unbelievable sequence takes place in the U.S Embassy. It’s the most preposterous thing in a movie that also has a guy with titanium under his skin.  Why would you bring someone’s weapon in the interrogation room? Are there no cameras in that U.S Embassy? How does 47 change clothes so fast, TWICE. He changes into full military uniform twice in about 30 seconds total. 47 could have a career in fashion if the killing business slows down. The sequence ends with a sniper shot ridiculous enough to make Hawkeye  jealous.

For what it’s worth, Rupert Friend is fine as Agent 47 – he doesn’t have much to do but play an emotionless hitman for 90 minutes. The rest of the cast fits in nicely as well, but much like Friend, they’re not given much to do either. Hannah Ware gives her best as Katia, but often times it feels like she’s acting in a completely different movie. I give her credit for being 100% committed to her character – even during Katia’s laughable “Spidey sense” scenes, she’s giving it her all.

Hitman: Agent 47 had a chance to be a very enjoyable bad movie – a movie drowning in over-the-top action, and incredibly cheesy lines. The kind of movie you can watch over and over again because of how unbelievably bad it is. Instead audiences are stuck with a film that’s forgettable at best. The film blatantly borrows from other action films, the dialogue is boring, and the CGI and action scenes look like something out of the early 2000’s. Most people will walk away A) wanting to buy an Audi RS 7 and B) wanting to vacation in Singapore. The one thing people will remember for sure is “subdermal titanium body armor”. Yep, that actually happened.

Grade: D

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