Review: HITMAN: AGENT 47 (2015) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Review: HITMAN: AGENT 47 (2015)

Like the awful 2007 version of HITMAN, this reboot misses the target for the second time.

In 2007, French director Xavier Gens tried and failed miserably in adapting the popular video game of HITMAN into the big screen. Although the movie was heavily panned by critics, HITMAN managed to rake in a substantial amount of money at the worldwide box office and DVD sales. Now eight years later, the same studio (Fox) attempted a fresh start (read: reboot) with a different director (Aleksander Bach) and different actor (Rupert Friend, replacing Timothy Olyphant for the lead role as Agent 47). Unfortunately, the result between the 2007 version and this reboot is more of the same.


In HITMAN: AGENT 47, genetically-enhanced assassin Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) is assigned by his handler Diana (Angelababy) to track down a woman named Katia Van Dees (Hannah Ware). Apparently Katia is the key that can lead him to her scientist father Dr. Litvenko (Ciaran Hinds), who used to supervise the Agent programme. Complicating the matters is John Smith (Zachary Quinto), another agent who is also chasing the same target.


As a veteran of many commercials, first-time feature director Aleksander Bach sure knows how to frame a couple of stunning location shots. Among them is the majestic view of Singapore's Marina Bay Sands.

British actor Rupert Friend (best known in TV's Homeland) certainly looks the part as the sharply-dressed assassin Agent 47, while making quite an impression displaying his American accent. Relative newcomer Hannah Ware, in the meantime, is equally decent as the emotionally frustrating Katia Van Dees.


For all the copious amount of action sequences here, none of them is a standout.


As an action picture, Bach relies too much CGI to enhance its stunts to the point they look fake and weightless. Even with all the amount of R-rated violence, the action displays almost no sense of visceral impact or cinematic flair. For instance, there's a car chase scene in the parking lot. Unfortunately, Bach staged that scene as if he was filming an Audi commercial.

Then there's the muddled screenplay, which is co-written by Skip Woods and Michael Finch. Woods, who also responsible for penning the 2007 version, has again made a preposterous mess out of his latest screenplay here. Another problem is the focal point of the story. Since HITMAN: AGENT 47 is supposed to be a reboot, it's kind of baffling to see Agent 47 being sidelined as a secondary character. Instead, this movie is more about Katia and her quest. So, that begs me a question: what's the point of calling this movie as HITMAN: AGENT 47 anyway?

With the exception of Rupert Friend and Hannah Ware, the rest of the actors are downright disappointing. Zachary Quinto is wasted as John Smith, and so does Thomas Kretschmann, who is totally forgettable and underused as the mastermind Le Clerq.


By the time HITMAN: AGENT 47 reaches to an open ending and a mid-credit teaser that obviously hinted a sequel, I couldn't care less about it. Word of advice: just stick with the game instead. 

* This review is written courtesy from 20th Century Fox Malaysia press screening *

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