Hitman is one of my favorite game franchises. This game really helped set the stage for third-person stealth in games. It had a simple story, with a couple of twists that you didn’t seem coming and lead to some innovative moments. Flash-forward to 2007’s Hitman adaptation and then even further into this years Hitman: Agent 47 and we have a bold faced example of why either Hollywood needs to give up on games, or start taking them as seriously as they take comic books.
In Hitman: Agent 47 we follow an overcomplicated plot that introduces Katia, (Hannah Ware) a girl looking to discover her past. She is constantly gifted with superhuman like abilities that make her question who she is and has her on the search to discover her past. Enter Rupert Friend (Agent 47) a stone cold killer that is contracted to kill Katia and someone close to her.
The film also introduces John Smith, (Zachary Quinto) a genetically modified guy who’s skin can stop bullets.
The plot balloons out from there and tries its best to become smart and tricky. I might have thought the trickiness that the movie is trying to pull off were bearable, if the script was closer to the source material. It doesn’t take much to play through a game, write that game into a screenplay and make it into a movie. I think that the writer of this movie had a son or daughter who briefly explained to dad what happened in the game, dad apparently didn’t bother to actually play through the game himself, wasn’t a fan and came up with a script loosely based on on what the thought the game was about.
The first Hitman game’s story, had you wake up as Agent 47 in a dark-subterranean area. The doctor who created you trains you to become a stealth assassin. From that point you take on contracts delegated to you through an agency that you work for. Halfway through someone tries to kill you while you are on an assignement. This happens a few times and you are unable to discover who it is until you get toward the end. You eventually discover that there were other clones made and that you were just the 47th one. At that point you go back to the area where you woke up and kill 46 clones, eventually you work your way up to assassinating the doctor that created you. If you waited a second too long to pull the trigger, he would inject you with a sedative and you would wake up back in the bed from the beginning of the game with no memory of what had happened to you. Brilliant, yet simple, right?
Friend plays a good Agent 47 for the most part. He has a cold and monotone voice for most of the movie. Then at other times he is speaking in his normal voice using inflection and emotion. I’m not sure why he would go from one to the other. It is like someone told him half way through the movie to not do that. Cold and emotionless is the way he should have played the entire movie.
Quinto is phoning it in the entire movie. The dialogue they gave him was laughable. In fact, all of the dialogue is horrible. You know that when someone in a movie says “You are dead, you just don’t know it yet” that you have entered bad movie territory. Those lines worked in the 80’s and 90’s but sure as hell does not work now.
Every once in awhile the film will tap you on the shoulder and show some imagery from the game to remind you that it is indeed based on said game. It just isn’t enough to make any fan of the game series find any of it the least bit enjoyable.
After I watched John Wick I knew that from that point on my action movie standards were going to be raised. If this had been directed by the filmmakers behind Wick, maybe it would have stood a chance but the final product is lacking in every possible way that it can.
Best case scenario this is a mediocre VOD movie, at least, that is the case for people who haven’t played the game. If you have played and are a fan of the series, make sure you skip this one because it will hurt you deeply. I imagine somewhere Agent 47 is loading his .45 ballers and preparing to sign up for a contract on the guys that put this film together.