Hitman: Agent 47 (dir. Aleksander Bach, 2015) – Interest in a genetic alteration project sets assassins on a hunt for a mysterious woman, who is seeking her own past.
Fifty head shots later, Hitman: Agent 47 remains just as unexciting as the names of its characters.
As curiosity would have it, I spent my weekend watching the ridiculous idea of a shoot-’em-up in Singapore. Elaborate gun battles, car chases and full suits in year-round humidity sure are odd to witness in the quiet city-state I live in.*
All these may be audibly amusing to locals in the theatre, but that is about as entertaining as this action tropes textbook gets. Hitman: Agent 47 comes off as yet another bland attempt to capitalise on the name of the famed cold hired gun, with little interest in developing his personality or story.
Reliant on the reputation of its video game origins and its subpar movie predecessor, its minimal plot lives up to neither comparison nor scrutiny. The tired mission sees cloned assassin Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) attempt to stop the Syndicate’s plans for more programmed soldiers like himself.
What he is after is the key to the military program, Katia van Dees (Hannah Ware), who is looking to solve mysteries of her own. Ostensibly sent to protect her, John Smith (Zachary Quinto) enters the picture with guns blazing. He soon reveals his obvious motive that is as uninspired as his name.
Genetically engineered agents make great excuses for endless slick action. But how mind-numbing it is to watch low-stakes action between stone cold killers, who simply cannot die. Without regard for pain or remorse, their scenes together are as thrilling as a lightweight pillow fight.
Bullet-proof and emotionless Terminators engage in a danger-free photoshoot disguised as combat. Their deliberate poses result in stilted recreations of iconic imagery from the video games. As gunfire rains in the open without wit or method, the singular purpose of visual splatter is tougher still to enjoy.
Debates on what defines humanity fill the remaining void, well omitting any trace of superfluous romantic sub-plots. Yet barely scraping the surface of choice versus duty, hollow conversations negate its guise as a cerebral film. Instead, the absence of much-needed characterisation becomes striking, in yet another franchise dead end.
*Contrary to the strangely specific dialogue in this film, an appreciation for botany or a flair for Asian languages are not necessary for you to visit Singapore.