If some five-year-olds were let loose in a movie studio, and asked to create an action movie, Hitman: Agent 47 might be the result. It’s an unoriginal blend of predictable stunts, a boring plot and bad acting.
The movie is based on a video game, and that’s how it should have stayed.
A lot of the scenes feel like you’re a first-person shooter (a very good one admittedly), and the camera jolts in a way that is extremely similar to the way it does in a game, but on the big screen, so much movement is just sickening. The title character Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) even walks in slow motion with the awkward strut of a video game character.
Basically, there was a programme to create agents – genetically modified humans who have had fear, love, compassion and pain removed. This means they are perfect killing machines. The lead scientist realised this was a bad idea, shut down the programme and disappeared. Now lots of people are trying to find him so that they can restart the programme. The only lead they have is finding his estranged daughter, Katia van Dees (Hannah Ware), who knows nothing about any of this.
The story is loose and there are some questionable plot holes. At one point, Agent 47 seems to almost tear up, which seems ludicrous if we are to believe that he doesn’t have emotions. Also, Katia is painfully ignorant of her skills and abilities, but this contradicts the part where we are told she is smarter than all of the agents – surely if she were, she would know it? They may be small points, but it’s frustrating because the impression is that directors think the audience won’t notice (or care?) because of all the action-heavy stunts.
Katia is an annoying character. She is flakey and always says things like “What’s happening?” And “I can’t do this” before doing some impossible stunt and then acting very arrogant about it. There’s just no consistency – is she supposed to be naive and untrained, or skilled and egotistical?
The stunts and gore are also very video game-esque, and too much time has been wasted on CGI effects, making them both unnecessary and unrealistic.
Plus there are some uber-cheesy lines like, “You’re wrong. We define who we are.” Uh, please. The audience isn’t here for some philosophical spiel from someone who’s had all their emotions removed. The classic cliché following a gun shot that doesn’t hit the target is also in there: “You missed,” says John Smith (yup, that’s how inventive they got with the names). “No she didn’t,” replies Agent 47, followed by a massive explosion, leaving all the bad guys (spoiler) dead. It all just feels very scripted and unoriginal.
The only people who might appreciate this film are members of the Singapore Tourism Board, as many of the scenes feel more like a promo video for the city than a movie. Everyone else, avoid, avoid, avoid.