A movie critic is much like an assassin. We need to know our target, follow their every move, and when the time comes to pull the trigger, we mustn't hesitate. Which is why, instead of the usual preamble, I'm going to give it to you straight: don't go see Hitman: Agent 47. Don't watch the trailers or clips online, don't even pirate the damned thing on your computer out of curiosity. It isn't worth your time, and the film knows it as it lies on the screen with less life than Quicksilver at the end of Avengers: Age Of Ultron. If you're adverse to blood, don't see this movie and don't read this review – because Hitman: Agent 47 is the target... and I always close my contracts.
Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) is hired for a double contract killing. One target is the secretive Le Clerq (Thomas Kretschmann), the head of Syndicate International – a biotech firm responsible for trying to continue the work of a Russian scientist who has perfected the ultimate weapon – the Agent program. The second target is a mystery, but linked to a young woman (Hannah Ware) who may be more than who she seems. Unfortunately for her, she's being followed by a man (Zachary Quinto) who'd kill to find out.
To put this into terms the gaming industry will understand (in hopes that they'll think twice before letting another video game franchise get sucker punched by Hollywood) the folks behind Hitman: Agent 47 only played the campaign levels. Those involved in the creative process have created a speed run of a film, while neglecting the side quests that develop a story beyond the straight and narrow. It is as clinical and sterile as its protagonist, and it steals from multiple films and genres in a way that is less an homage and more a hatchet job. If The Bourne Identity and Resident Evil had too much to drink and hooked up back in 2002, this is the baby that one of them would bring to the doorstep of the other, begging them to take it.
The story of Hitman: Agent 47 is so lackluster. I'd complain about the performances in this film, except for the fact that the film is so inadequately put together that I'm willing to give all involved a pass. For all of the rumors of Fantastic Four being an underdeveloped, over-edited film with a moody overtone forced upon it, I wouldn't be surprised if whoever was responsible for the horrible changes to that film got their hands on Hitman: Agent 47 and went to town. As for the film's “R-rating,” it should at the very least mean that there's no cheap “Unrated” version double dip – considering the only real reason this film is rated R is for some splashes of red blood and Quinto saying “Fuck” twice in one scene.
The one bright spot in a film so woefully underwhelming is Marco Beltrami's well-written musical score. The ass that we're supposed to believe was kicked on screen in every quick-cut-laden action sequence is actually represented in the music the film provides as entertainment. This would mark the second Fox disaster that wasted his musical talents, as Fantastic Four also managed to yield a beautiful score that didn't deserve the film it was saddled with. Beltrami's music is the most active component of Hitman: Agent 47, as the action scenes – when not stealing from films like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol or The Bourne Identity – are as uninteresting as the failed comedic-relief lines that litter the film's script.
Hitman: Agent 47 is a film so bad, I'm starting to wonder if Fox's record-breaking year in 2014 was merely a fluke. I hope Victor Frankenstein, and even next year’s Deadpool, manage to prove me wrong, as the studio does hold projects that I find myself enthusiastic about. This film is most certainly not one of them though, and it was a bad enough experience that I find myself wondering if I'll be too gun shy to make it to either of those films, afraid that I'll be equally disappointed when the evening is over.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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