Hitman: Agent 47: File Under ‘Ridiculous Guilty-Pleasure Action’
Action & Adventure
If Hollywood history has taught us anything, it’s that Tarantino likes feet, Ben Affleck doesn’t make for a good superhero and video games don’t make good source material for films. Other future lessons to be learnt include “Ben Affleck still doesn’t make a good superhero” and “They shouldn’t have made a sequel to Avatar.”
Now, Hitman: Agent 47 doesn’t completely shackle itself with chains of faithfulness to the Hitman video games, but it does take strong cues from it, with mixed success.
It’s impossible to sum up this film without using words like ridiculous, nonsensical and ‘huh’? It’s a muddle of a film that seemingly forgoes logic and good-sense, but doesn’t apologise for it one bit – it isn’t trying to be anything more than an absurd action film that, despite being completely unmemorable for anything but light ridicule, harks back to the type of action flicks that kept moviegoers fleetingly entertained in the 80s.
Based around the clichéd idea of genetically-modified super-humans, the story tells of the search for scientist, Peter Litvenko (Hinds), who was all but ready to complete the ‘Agent’ program – one designed to create assassins with enhanced strength, speed, agility, stamina and intelligence. On the run after having a crisis of conscience and fleeing, leaving his young daughter, Katia, behind, the secret Syndicate International Corporation is on the hunt for him. In their way, however, is eponymous character, Agent 47 (Friend), and a now grown Katia (Ware), who is desperate to find her father.
If it’s not a story you’ve heard before, then it’s a certainly one that’s predictable; an enigmatic hero, a young woman who comes to learn much about herself on her search for a truth and shady enemies all make for a classic action narrative, but one that doesn’t hold back in any way when it comes to the tropes of the genre. It’s all flash and not much more, but it’s the type of flash that will make fans of grittier action films roll their eyes into oblivion. Much of this is owed to the editing; the cuts are fast, the sequences are relentless and the action is largely unrealistic – many have compared the latter to that found in Christian Bale sci-fi action, Equilibrium.
The acting is indistinct; it’s routine without being offensive, but it’s not about the characters – in fact, this is the furthest you can get away from a character-driven film. Overall though, this is a film to be taken with a pinch of salt. There’s a certain sense of enjoyment to be found in the hyper-action of Hitman: Agent 47, but absolutely nothing to chew on or take away.