The 2007 version of Hitman was one of the best “Video Game to Movie” in my opinion. Timothy Olyphant grasped the character perfectly and the director didn’t try to take the narrative further than what the reach of the game was. Thus what we had in our hands was a sweeping adventure which every now and then reminded us of the best things about the game including the back tracking shot of Olyphant, dressed in his black tux, simply walking through the topography. The recent version however shows a strange inclination towards introducing a new found sentimentality to Agent 47.
For those who played the game, know that one of the charms of the game lie in playing it in a way that Agent 47 is invisible. Here we have a version of Agent 47 which is straight out of an imagination of me playing the game in “god mode” bludgeoning my way through a pile of dead bodies. In doing so, the director creates a disconnect between the movie and the target audiences who now spend most of their time finding faults with the movie rather than enjoying what they see unfold on screen. The film also has a sense of confusion to it, which hits its effectivity every now and then.
The story revolves around a girl Katia (Hannah Ware) who is looking for her father but she doesn’t know where to find him. An organization called “The Syndicate” is trying to create enhanced agents like Agent 47 but their efforts fail. So they are looking for the creator of the whole program, Dr. Peter Litvenko (Ciarán Hinds). Katia happens to be Litvenko’s daughter. Also she was experimented upon by the doctor and hence has the same set of skills that Agent 47 does. Just that she doesn’t know of it yet. Agent 47(Rupert Friend), who works for the Agency, is entrusted with the task of finding the two and eliminating them. However standing in their path is an enhanced who cannot be shot as he is bulletproof.
Imagine, Litvenko on the verge of being shot, telling his daughter that he has left her a brother in the form of Agent 47. Envisioning Agent 47 as a brother is an unlikely thought. However he acts exactly like a brother to her and even has his guns stolen and taken apart in a scene. Can you imagine that? This just gives you an idea of how lame this film gets. And to make the matter worse, he smirks in the end. This was the final nail in the coffin for the film. The film has visual flair but that’s not enough.
When we think of Hitman, the first thing we think of is the action. There is plenty of stylized action here but none of it makes the kind of impact that it should have in order to merit anywhere near the action sequences of the previous film. The comparison is necessary here just to give you an idea of how terribly bad this film has turned out to be. I will only address the previous installment as a benchmark. There are practically no stealth kills and Agent 47 takes a “Rajnikant” sort of an attitude in dealing with his adversaries. At a juncture I felt as if he was trying to kill off the whole Singapore. If not all, he killed atleast 50 % of the population while the rest of the 50 % seem to be on his side.
Hannah Ware plays a character which is just as efficient a killing machine as Agent 47 himself. They both fight hand in hand. This is another huge letdown for me. I cannot possibly imagine two 47’s (one 90 in this case) fighting shoulder to shoulder. Agent 47 is a loner and he works best when he works alone. All he needed was an equally badass baddie to compliment him per action. What we get instead is a sulking Zachary Quinto who is more inclined on getting kudos for being the best from 47 than he is in killing his targets. The result is a duel which fizzles out even before it starts.
Overall, Hitman: Agent 47 is a film you should miss if you want to keep the good memories of the game and previous film intact. There is nothing about this film which is worth your time and money. Give it a miss for sure.