“Hitman: Agent 47,” Flashes Of Action, Lacks Story

Zachary Quinto and Hannah Ware in "Hitman: Agent 47."

HOLLYWOOD—Anyone who plays video games might be well aware of the hit game “Hitman.” In 2007, the video game got the big screen treatment with Timothy Olyphant playing the notable character Agent 47. Flash forward to 2015, and we have “Hitman: Agent 47,” a reboot of sorts with a fresh face in Rupert Friend who portrays Agent 47. He’s an agent who works for a secret organization in the government known as the ICA (International Contracts Agency).

The narrative is not something completely out of the ordinary in the action arena: a brilliant scientist manifests a program that creates human beings who are perfect assassins. They have skills that a normal human being doesn’t have and they don’t show remorse or guilt from actions they’ve committed. Yeah, how many times have I already seen this on the big screen? More than I can count.

Ciaran Hinds portrays geneticist Dr. Peter Litvenko, who has an epiphany that what he is doing is wrong, which prompts him to destroy the program, leaving his daughter Katia (Hannah Ware) behind. It’s important to note that Katia is the focal point of most of the plot for the movie. She knows something is wrong with her, but isn’t quite sure precisely what that is. It’s not until she is nearly killed by Agent 47 that pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place.

Zachary Quinto proves that the role of villain is something he plays all too well, as the mysterious John Smith, who has ties to Syndicate International; the organization desperate to locate Litvenko in hopes of having him continue his research to design assassins. What is quite frustrating about the movie, helmed by director Aleksander Bach, is that there is the potential for so much more, but the audience is left high and dry.

We have two rival organizations both capable of producing killing machines. Yet, much of that action is not seen until the third act of the movie. There are sprinkles of highly choreographed stunt scenes throughout the movie, but not enough in my personal opinion for a film that touts itself as being a part of the action genre. Another problem with “Hitman: Agent 47” is the lack of character development. These people are so one-note it’s impossible to connect with any of them. The idea of the agents being one-dimensional seriously carries to the acting in the movie.

The hint of romance between Agent 47 and Katia is halted when it becomes evident they have a stronger brother and sister bond than that of possible lovers. The flick teases the potential of a sequel during the ending credits, but considering the movie attempts to separate itself quite a bit from the video game that is notorious for being a guns and action packed extravaganza, the possibilities look very slim.