Starring: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto
Director: Aleksander Bach
Running Time: 96 mins
Hitman: Agent 47 is an American film about the race to recover a woman whose father was the creator of the illusive ‘agent’ programme, which created superhuman hitmen, and could be convinced to restart it.
Video game movies have a long and well-documented history of being consistently terrible. But while the likes of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Resident Evil have a degree of throwaway fun to them, Hitman: Agent 47 is a painfully dull affair that offers none of the grit of its source material, and none of the spectacle of a Hollywood action movie.
Let’s start with the action itself, because to be honest, you’re not going into this film expecting a masterpiece in storytelling. For the most part, the action sequences are fine, but pass by almost without you noticing. There’s nothing terrible about the way that Alexsander Bach directs the fights, chases and shootouts here, but there’s also nothing about it that can really grab your attention.
The film borders on the realm of direct-to-DVD action, with painfully generic fight sequences, unimaginative choreography, boring camerawork and some really rather subpar visual effects for its time.
So, if the action doesn’t cut the mustard, perhaps the screenplay does? But again, Hitman: Agent 47 falls by the wayside, with a pointlessly meandering story that features very little earthy grit or tension, and instead tries to keep you entertained with myriad twists and turns that make it all awfully messy.
There’s nothing confusing about the story here – simply because there’s so little going on – but the film’s attempts to turn your expectations on their head at the end of the first act are not only predictable, but done in a painfully underwhelming way, not helped by the movie’s total lack of charisma or suspense.
While it has all the potential to be a gritty action thriller a little more like the original video game, Hitman: Agent 47 seems more intent on leaning towards a TRON: Legacy style of sci-fi, which strips away any of that potential intensity.
What’s more, the movie features some of the dullest performances I’ve seen in a long time. Zachary Quinto is a tedious and unthreatening villain, Hannah Ware is neither a kick-ass hero nor a captivating damsel in distress, and Rupert Friend – who has given his fair share of gripping, unsettling performances – is a void of charisma in the lead role, proving as one-dimensional as the graphics in the first Hitman video game.
So, with all that said, it’s clear that Hitman: Agent 47 is a woefully poor action movie that drags on and on for over 90 minutes with some of the most tedious action, storytelling and acting I’ve seen in quite some time. And that’s why I’m giving it a 4.8 overall.