An assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.
I can’t believe how much hate this movie is receiving. While “Avengers: Age of Ultron” received mainly glowing reviews and mine was one of them, it most certainly had its fair share of absolutely unbelievable action scenes that I feel had they appeared in any other movie, would have been mercilessly crucified. I also feel that “Hitman: Agent 47” will appeal to a specific target audience, namely, those of us who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s and thrived on overly exaggerated action films with anything that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis. They were unapologetic with their portrayal of violence and action and audiences lapped it up. They were successful because audiences knew they were over-the-top and just had fun with them.
The same principle applies here. “Hitman: Agent 47” is 96 minutes of pure adrenaline accompanied by countless, overblown, action set-pieces that will leave you shaking your head in disbelief. Go to this movie and just have fun, it’s that simple. It is based on the ‘Hitman’ video game series, developed by IO Interactive, where its main character, a mysterious contract killer, is known only as Agent 47. He is a genetically-engineered assassin created from the combined DNA of five of the world’s most dangerous criminals but the program he stemmed from, has been shut down for a number of years. Until now. A terrorist known as Le Clerq (Thomas Kretschmann) is trying to reinstate the program but needs to find Dr. Litvenko (Ciarán Hinds), the founder of the agent program in order to secure its continued operation.
When he proves impossible to find, Le Clerq decides to go after his daughter Katia (Hannah Ware) as leverage. When the mysterious John Smith (Zachary Quinto) finds her, he claims to be someone who wants to help her from becoming the next target of Agent 47. A recluse her whole life, she trusts nobody but when John gives her information about her father whom she has been trying to track down for years, she begins to let her guard down but it is short-lived. After an encounter with Agent 47, he kills John and takes Katia hostage. Upon waking up, 47 informs her that she is just like him and because she is the daughter of the founder of the agent program, she has abilities that she was previously unaware of until 47 helps her bring them to the surface.
Now they must both try to locate her father before Le Clerq does, otherwise, he’ll produce an army of ruthless, highly disciplined agents with no understanding of anything but the commands that he assigns. “Hitman: Agent 47” is the second movie in the series and by far the best. The first movie, simply titled “Hitman,” came out in 2007 and starred Timothy Olyphant (TV’s “Justified”) in the titular role. Unfortunately, he was miscast and his presence did nothing to improve the overall quality of the film. This time round, Agent 47 is played by English actor Rupert Friend (“Homeland,” “Pride & Prejudice”) who brings the necessary stoicism and detachment required for the part of a hitman and like Arnie in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” the longer he is around other people, he discovers that he is capable of more than just murder.
The film is directed by Aleksander Bach, known primarily for music videos and documentaries and like David Fincher, Spike Lee and Roman Coppola before him, he proves very adept at handling the required action scenes throughout the movie without having to resort to the much-hated shaky cam approach that other filmmakers in this particular genre adopt. “Hitman: Agent 47” is loud and boisterous and sometimes, that’s all you want from a summer movie. Ignore the naysayers and decide for yourself.
In theaters August 21st
For more info on James check out his website at www.IrishFilmCritic.com