R | 96 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Review - Matt Mungle
**in theaters August 21st*
Synopsis: An assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.
Review: Hitman: Agent 47 is hit or miss when it comes to continuity and style. The film is based on a popular video game and like most in this genre doesn't quite get the reboot fans may want. It is disjointed and uses too much over dramatized dialogue and the meandering lulls make you long for "game over".
The problem is not in Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) whose character is concise, focused, and well executed. The scenes with him carrying out his task are the highlight of the film. Nor can the blame be placed fully on Zachary Quinto's John Smith - although there are many moments when it is painful to watch Quinto deliver the cliche lines and lack luster script. If this had been the first role we saw him in and had never witnessed his greatness in the Star Trek flicks we would think him a mediocre actor at best. Luckily we all know that is not the case.
The story as a whole is pretty solid. Two organizations want to find the great scientist Dr. Delriego for different reasons. He is the only one capable of recreating the genetically engineered assassins. The key to finding him seems to lie within his daughter Katia (Hannah Ware). Agent 47 and John Smith each have a separate drive and determination when it comes to getting to Katia first. Much of the film is the two of them battling each other for the title of, " I am better than you at kicking butt".
Ware is sadly very out of sorts in this role. She is unable to deliver the lines convincingly and lacks the fluid motion needed in the role. She is the common thread between the two agents and we need her to hold the story together from one action sequence to another. I am quick to forgive her though because, again, the script is wafer thin. When Agent 47 isn't doing his thing the writers tend to get lost in deciding what to have their people do so they splash around in a sea of drivel until the next fight breaks out. Everyone, especially the audience, sighs a breath of relief when that happens because it gives us something to actually enjoy.
Where the fault truly lies is in the direction of Aleksander Bach. Again we could extend the hand of forgiveness since this is the first film he has directed. But at the same time if you are going to take on a project like this there are certain things you have to get right. You have to be able to convey the story seamlessly. You have to be able to balance the full on action with the softer "get to know the character" moments. This one is so disjointed and lacks continuity.
The continuity is the biggest failure. If I didn't know better I would swear that each segment of the movie was filmed by a different director and producing team. The way it is shot, the music, the choreographed stunts; all are like separate videos pieced into one final movie. You feel like when they wrapped for the day they came back the next morning and started again with no attention being paid to what happened the day before. The final act of the movie is the best. All of a sudden it gets a swagger and vibe that seems to come from nowhere. After watching that sequence the filmmakers should have gone back and redone the entire movie to match that.
Hitman: Agent 47 is rated R for sequences of strong violence, and some language. Like the video game there is a lot of gun play and blood splatter. The bodies pile up continually and in graphic style. The adult language comes mainly from Katia, again due to a horribly written script. If you are ok with violence you will have no problem with the content in this one. I give it 2.5 out of 5 barcodes. The only redeeming part of this is how expertly Rupert Friend pulls off Agent 47. The title character has to be spot on and at least we get that.