Like the old saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, wait eight years and do it again but worse” and that must have been the mantra that inspired the […]
Like the old saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, wait eight years and do it again but worse” and that must have been the mantra that inspired the team who made Hitman: Agent 47. Directed by Aleksander Bach, whom Wikipedia points out is “best known for directing Hitman: Agent 47” and a story by Skip Woods, who also wrote the original film, this reboot gave the Hitman franchise a second chance at making a first impression. The result was a film that felt even more flat than the first effort and may have the final bullet in the head for Agent 47 and his film career. Rupert Friend is Agent 47 in this one with Hannah Ware, Ciaran Hinds and Zachary Quinto rounding off the leading cast.
Hitman: Agent 47 starts with a little background on the happenings of the Hitman universe, a scientist called Doctor Petr Litvenko (Hinds) figures out a way to create human beings that are made specifically to be killers. He eventually has a crisis of faith about what he has done and disappears. Agent 47 is one of these assassins and we see him doing his killing thing against a man called Delriego who was tracking a girl named Katia van Dees (Ware) who the Syndicate believe is the key to finding Litvenko and thus restarting the Agent program.
Katia is in Berlin looking for Litvenko though unaware of who he actually is or really why she feels the need to find him. Her life changes when she bumps into John Smith (Quinto) who tells her that her life is in danger as she is being hunted by Agent 47. Sure enough, 47 comes out guns blazing and they make their escape. Quinto explains that he works for a corporation – and even though he is supposed to be the good guy that alone is enough to know he’s secretly evil – and that he has been given the task of keeping Katia alive. 47 does get a shot in on Katia, with a sniper bullet grazing her arm.
At a hotel room, Smith tells Katia a bunch of information about her father and through this and her super intelligence pieces together all the clues to figure out exactly where Litvenko is but before she can tell Smith, 47 bursts into the door and puts four bullets into his chest and kidnaps Katia. Katia awakens tied to a chair where 47 reveals that she has also been programmed with heightened survival instincts and skills. To prove it, 47 turns on an jet engine that is slowly sucking Katia and her chair in, with the task that she must undo the rope herself. She manages but then the Syndicate’s army interrupt things. Katia decided to trust 47 – because when she touched his hand she had a flashback of her childhood and he was there because he is a creation of her father – and they make their way through the warehouse taking out the soldiers one by one. Eventually Smith pops up again and demands to know Litvenko’s location but 47 fights Smith off. Smith gets the upper hand but decides to taunt 47 before finishing him off which allows Katia to shoot the window with the jet engine which blows up and allows them to make their escapes.
Katia reveals where her father is – Singapore, where the Syndicate’s HQ is located. They go there and are attacked in their hotel room by freelance assassins. They don’t stand a chance against 47 and his skills. Our heroes escape, 47 steals a kids inhaler (but gives him a cool knife in exchange. Dad of the year). They meet Litvenko, who has suffered from lung cancer and needs an inhaler to, like, live, and he sorta doesn’t apologise for abandoning her as a kid but asks for forgiveness anyway. As soon as he sees 47 he tells him he is ready to die but Katia convinces him and 47 isn’t gonna do it. Just then the Syndicate come and break up the family reunion with BULLETS but they all end up dead. Agent 47 helps everyone escape the building in his car but in the city they are shot by a bunch of grappling hooks preventing them from moving. 47 does manage to kill a bunch of them but a bullet ricochets into Litvenko’s leg – he begs 47 to take Katia away and he obliges, sneakily giving him the inhaler he stole earlier. Litvenko is then taken away by the Syndicate.
Katia is PISSED that 47 allowed them to take her father but he decides to tranquilise her. Meanwhile, Litvenko is being tortured with MYSTERIOUS BLUE INJECTIONS by John Smith as they want his help to create more agents. He refuses. Sylar then goes for one more MYSTERIOUS BLUE INJECTION but is then stopped by the elusive chairman of the Syndicate Antoine LeClerq who sends Spock out of the room to talk to Litvenko alone. He threatens to find Katia even if Litvenko dies before squealing but just then 47’s voice booms out of the intercom, he wants to make a deal – Litvenko for Katia. Katia is being flown by a remotely controlled helicopter but then she wakes up and crashes the helicopter into the building.
She goes full on Agent and kills everyone in her way to save her dad. Meanwhile, 47 disguises himself as a fireman and makes his way to the chairman’s office. LeClerq escapes with Litvenko while John Smith has a final showdown with Agent 47. Bullets don’t work on Smith because his skin has been injected with a liquid metal which acts like an armour. Smith punches through a wall which exposes an electric wire and 47 beats him by choking him with his fibre wire and then sticking that into the wire, electrocuting Smith and killing him once and for all.
Katia and 47 reunite and make their way to the roof where they fight off more Syndicate people however, LeClerq and Litvenko fly off. Litvenko sees his child kicking ass and he knows that LeClerq will never let him go so he takes out the inhaler that 47 gave him, clicks it and it blows the heck up. 47 phones his organisation to let him know that his target, LeClerq is dead but refuses to testify about his “second target”. Katia is upset she was used as a diversion just so 47 could take out LeClerq but he assures her that her father blew himself up so she could be free. At that moment the elevator opens to reveal Agent 48, who is identical to 47, and they start off a gun fight as the credits roll. Laughably, there is a sequel hook in the mid-credits with Zachary Quinto waking up from his death.
Hitman (2007) sucked, Hitman: Agent 47 is worse. It’s super dull, uninspired garbage. It tries very hard to be cool in parts but it lacks the substance to back it up. At times it just felt like a long Audi commercial but after seeing this film I’m gonna get be a Subaru. In short I did not like it.
The same problem as the other Hitman film is very prevalent here and that is Agent 47 is an interesting video game character but that does not translate to being an interesting film character. In the game he is stoic and emotionless but it works because the player can insert some of their own personality into the character based on the way they play. You can’t change the character based on the way you watch the movie and so Agent 47’s non-character is just not interesting enough on its own – you really need other characters to bring the personality but instead they have written every character to be just as bland. Zachary Quinto is fine but it also feels like he’s playing every character he’s famous for. The script is charmless and you could probably guess most of the lines characters are going to say before they say them.
The action isn’t as good as the first Hitman movie which didn’t have the best action either. This one is definitely less gruesomely violent, though there are some gory deaths – they’re all in the warehouse scene. A lot of people get shot in the head and after a while you start to desire something a bit different. Just everything feels like they just didn’t learn the right lessons from the first film and the result is an even more boring film.
Hitman’s second chance at Hollywood stardom was also a failure but not a HUGE failure, it still made a decent profit, but it’s beginning to feel like a good Hitman film will never happen. The year after this, the Hitman game series got a reboot which truly honed in on the deadpan, dark comedy aspect of Hitman – allowing you to assassinate the targets in multiple ways and some of them are hilarious. Would that make a better film? It would be difficult to do well and at this point I’m okay never watching another Hitman movie. Both films have been uninspired but Agent 47 doesn’t even seem like it tries to be a fun movie and it lacks the coolness to make up for it.