Movie Review: Hitman: Agent 47

…I paid money to see this… I paid money, $11.58, to sit through a 90-minute waste of time, which could have been used for something far more constructive. It was not even that bad, just boring, soulless, and contrived. Is this the state of action movies? Have filmmakers become so pretentious they think they can wow audiences with their choreographed fight scenes that look so fake, it is as if the protagonist and henchman rehearsed it beforehand? Never in my life have I felt so smart in a theater than when I was watching Hitman: Agent 47.

While on a search for her father, Katia, played by Hannah Ware, finds out she is the target of Agent 47, a mythical assassin known for his efficiency in closing his contracts. While fleeing for safety, she finds there is more to the situation than she once thought.

Hitman thinks it is cool. It takes every opportunity to impress you with a lot of flash and is so transparent, it would have been offensive if it were not boring. Hitman would not have been cool 10 years ago. What it does has been done before in better movies. The close melee grappling was taken from Iron Man 2, the ballet-like gunfights from Equilibrium, and the daddy-issues story from every action movie ever. Hitman is so desperate to try and look cool it has not the spine to be its own movie. It steals from good movies because the people behind it have no sense of creativity. And do not even get me started on the use of CGI. The whole affair was anti-climatic and boring to the point I considered walking out.

Hitman is not even a good hitman movie. Having a mass murderer as the protagonist can be difficult, but even stories about killers can be interesting. The Iceman was about the most notorious hitman in American history and it is better than a lot of direct-to-video movies. Hitman is so obsessed with looking cool it forgets to try something for itself and suffers the consequences of a derivative premise and action. In the hands of the Cohen brothers, it would have made for a suspenseful crime drama similar to this.

The story is a joke. Not only was the twist spoiled in the trailers, there is an overload of exposition at the beginning that is repeated, followed by the characters meandering about before a plot convenience puts them back into it. Motivations go unexplained and plot threads left in the open with nothing to tie them up. For a film that calls itself action, there are enough calm moments of pointless drama for a Lifetime channel original movie. Between the breaks 47 and Katia constantly talk about his lack of humanity or her latent abilities. It becomes so repetitive and uninteresting I find it difficult to continue writing about it.

Even though the characters use a lot of guns, the production had no idea how they were supposed to work. There are two scenes where a pistol runs out of ammo and the slide remains forward. When a handgun is discharged, the slide pulls back to release the spent cartridge. At the last round the slide is locked back, but for some reason this does not happen in Hitman’s world. Also, the sniper rifle 47 uses is impractical. It is a long bolt action that seemed to chamber a 7.62. In the game he used a WA 2000, a bullpup with a three-foot profile that chambers a .300 Winchester, a much bigger round. The weapon was small and compact enough to fit in a suitcase. Though the rifle seen in the movie could be effective, it is far too big for subtle transportation and aesthetically unappealing.

Do not see Hitman: Agent 47. It steals from better films you should watch instead. If you want a good recent movie about killers, American Ultra is a fun choice. Death Wish 4 is what a hitman movie should be and it might have inspired the videogame series. The Iceman is another great one you can watch on Netflix.

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