Release Date: August 21, 2015
Director: Aleksander Bach
Writer: Skip Woods, Michael Finch, Skip Woods
Cast: Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto, Angelababy, Dan Bakkedahl, Charlen Beck, Michael Bornhutter, Melissa Broughton, Nils Brunkhorst, Michaela Caspar, Alvin Chan, Michael Corcoran, Manuel Depta, Andrew Di Bartolomeo, Georg Ebinal, Jorg Ellmer, Waye Leon Goh, Matthias Gunther, Jesse Hergt
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 96 minutes
Production Company: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, TSG Entertainment, Fox International Productions, Infinite Frameworks Studios
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Country: Germany, USA
In today’s society video games are becoming more and more prevalent each day. If not already, one might seem abnormal if they don’t have the latest console hooked up somewhere in their home. It’s a fun way to escape from the world, but what’s even more fascinating is adapting said property to the big screen. Since the inception of Mario Brothers, video games adaptations have been a terrible waste of money and talent. I’m not sure why, but other than ‘Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist’ (straight to bluray/dvd) all Hollywood films have failed miserably at this genre. Twentieth Century Fox is no different and most to blame. They’re not the best at adapting Franchises in general, but that’s a different story. Here, the studio has struck out with the third bad rendition of a great game I loved years ago. The only aspect of the film that gets my approval is the title and casting of the titular character.
Giving credit where it’s due Twentieth Century Fox does possess skills in casting. In my opinion nearly all of their films and/or adaptations have a stellar line up. The gentleman cast as Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) was simply excellent. It appeared he jumped right off the video game cover onto the screen. He looked the part, had the attitude down, and all the mannerisms that I’ve come to know. His portrayal of Agent 47 was far superior to Timothy Olyphant’s attempt the first and second time around. At first glance you knew that he’s an assassin, and given their line of work it’s convincing. I didn’t feel as passionate for character John Smith (Zachary Quinto). He’s a fine actor, but this time around he came across as a guy constantly being put in the friend zone by women. Then later we’re supposed to buy him as a worthy antagonist, but he looks like he just walked off the latest Banana Republic fashion show. It didn’t work in the slightest to put it simply. All of the other characters are forgettable, not worth mentioning, or looking up so I’ll pass.
Violence doesn’t guarantee quality, but if you’re going to rate a film “R” at least use that tool for realism. There’s nothing more horrible than a film containing blazing gun battles, or characters stabbing each other with no blood. So with ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ the minimal amount of blood the film did use wasn’t passable looking cartoonish. Rated R films always produce lower ticket sales so they shot themselves in the foot. This could’ve easily been PG-13, so my expectations were shot out of the sky when the studio felt the need to tone the violence back. In addition the action scenes ranged from pointless to mediocre. The television spots advertised a helicopter crashing high into a buildings window, but the effects looked as if I created them. It’s frustrating to see all the wasted money going into giant set pieces no one cares about, compared to a tiny Indonesian film (The Raid 2) whose climax was confined to a restaurant kitchen. The substance is what grabs you and there was none here. There’s another portion in which the action shots were visually confusing, and the bright strobing lights didn’t help. It only intensified my disdain for the whole scene, especially since other films like John Wick succeeded gracefully. I learned that some of the team that assisted with the latter was a part of this production, but I couldn’t guess that if you paid me. There was nothing exciting about the action. It was silly, nonrealistic, and dry to say the least.
What tops it all off is that it’s that a confusing story that goes nowhere. The movie is apparently supposed to be about Hitman Agent 47, but at times he’s never onscreen. More time is given to another agent that I’m not familiar with or care about. Her journey to discovery takes extremely too long to develop to the point of exhaustion. Yet the story focuses on her and the relationship with her father whom she barely knows. I didn’t care to see her initially when introduced and the film does nothing to convince me otherwise. For some reason she’s a super duper agent able to see through walls and read minds which takes all the stakes away. There are too many instances in the film where I could’ve solved the issues on screen, but they’re ignored so the plot can run at least ninety minutes.
All films are subjective but there was only little enjoyment here. I appreciated the faithfulness to the name, the casted hero, and a few moments they did right. Though unfortunately those moments will soon be forgotten by everything else bad that washes it away. I wanted to see the Hitman Agent go on missions to do cool assassin stuff. I wanted to see how he changed clothes like the game, became a chameleon, his weapons, his mindset, but I didn’t get that. What I got instead is the Hitman babysitting someone else who I could care less about, a ton of nonsense, that created another failed attempt at adapting a popular video game.