A video game series and a film reboot of a 2007 flop, Hitman: Agent 47 is a film that enjoyed little build-up or hype and for someone who never played the game itself, it was really good.
A scientist, Dr Litvenko played by Ciarán Hinds (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 and Game of Thrones) creates super-humans built without fear or emotion and with a heightened sense for danger, in short; the perfect killing machine.
However as like most agencies built to do such a thing, it was shut down. And then re-opened but by this point Dr Litvenko realises the dangers and goes into hiding. But that’s not before he tweaks his daughter to survive should he not be around to look after her.
Now someone wants to reopen the agency but needs the science from Dr Litvenko. So the hunt begins and this is what the story is all about.
His daughter with assassin like skills, Katia van Dees played by Hannah Ware (Betrayal and Boss), starts her search for her father along with an Agency desperate for the science to build a new army.
But to help Katia along the way steps in Agent 47, played by Rupert Friend (Homeland). Together they find her father and try stopping the science to build agents falling into the wrong hands.
Before we go any further, there is a disclaimer that needs to be made. This film is a switch-off with no expectations kind of film. It’s just a straight down the line standard action film that’s fun to watch. The moment you expect anything or try to think is the moment you question what you’re watching.
Visually the film had a video game hue about it. It was clear and defined and rarely did you question the graphics. Even when people are falling from great heights or things is blowing up.
The choreography in the action scenes, be it shooting more than 20 guys as Agent 47 walks down the stairs of a multi-story building, or racing around the streets of Berlin, Germany up and down car parks and through walls, was perfection.
While all the action is unfolding there are these amazing performances, by mostly unfamiliar actors. Starting with Agent 47, Rupert Friend, who manages to tap into a character void of emotion. His portrayal was frighteningly mechanic with no facial expressions except when they were forced.
All his action scenes were delivered in such a way that it looked like he was actually built not to feel. Even when he is being thrown around the room, he showed nothing human.
Hannah Ware’s portrayal of Katia is also just as robotic in her performance as Friend. Yet with a softer and confused emotion that took a little while to understand. She plays this highly calculated yet very scared human unsure of herself or the world. But when Agent 47 helps her along the way, she turns into this highly calculated strong individual.
Her performance takes you on this journey that puts you in her shoes. You can actually feel her emotions just by looking into her eyes.
Then there is Zachary Quinto (Heroes, Star Trek) who plays John Smith. Quinto has a unique ability to transform himself into his characters, Johns Smith is no exception. This transformation is so believeable as he works his way around the scenes.
It’s either his eyes or his eyebrows that intimidate you so much that you forget he’s this really nice great guy and just playing a character.
There is a niggling annoyance that comes with a lot of action films and the score. There tends to be a running sound that comes with a lot of action films very similar to that of the James Bond sound. What makes a score is the fact that you either hear it because it is amazing, or you don’t hear it because it compliments a scene perfectly.
Sadly in this case the score got to a point where you pull yourself away from the movie and think about the sound you just heard. Needless to say, for the most part it was pretty spot on.
Overall the film was a great chance to switch off and enjoy some action and a story line where you don’t have to think.
Sure it’s a reboot and had some teething issues with the lead roles. And there might be some video game fans of Hitman Agent: 47 who will be dissapointed it wasn’t close enough to the game. But for someone who hadn’t played the game or known much about the original film, it was a good bit of shoot ‘em up fun.
STORY – 2
ACTING – 3
CINEMATOGRAPHY – 3
SCORE/SOUNDTRACK – 2
OVERALL – 2