Two out of Five
“Hitman: Agent 47” tries to be like its own assassin agent, looking cool and acting smart, but it only manages to pull off one of the two.
And not the more important one.
A superhuman assassin named 47 (Rupert Friend) is after a girl, Katia (Hannah Ware), who he is hoping will lead him to his next target. The problem is she is also the target of someone else. She’s like the kid who has all the answers to the mid-term exam: Everyone wants to be her friend and use her to their advantage. But that doesn’t mean everyone wants her to remain alive.
“Hitman: Agent 47” does manage to hit some elements on target. It has a beautiful use of color, mostly red, black and white, which is taken from the suit-and-tie costume of 47. Certain scenes filmed in white hallways are soon filled with red blood splatters that — as morbid as it sounds — create an aesthetically pleasing color palette.
Even the cinematography is clean, although there is a gratuitous use of close-ups starting out. Eventually the camera moves back and allows the audience to view the action in full splendor, with all kinds of hits, shots, smackdowns, flips, explosions and car chases. While the film does use some slo-mo scenes, it doesn’t overuse them to the extent some films do.
It’s clear that “Hitman: Agent 47” looks pretty, but looks aren’t everything. A film also has to be smart. Unfortunately, this movie is not. It tries, but it doesn’t quite pull it off.
Part of 47’s superhumanness is that he’s really intelligent and he’s about 47 steps ahead of everyone else. But the plot is not, and the characters often forget to bring the audience along for the ride.
Many times characters reveal things about the plot or other characters that they suddenly know while failing to mention how they magically happened to acquire this knowledge. If there are things happening behind the scenes that are important to the plot, it would be nice to let the audience see that also.
But then other times aspects are overexplained. An incredibly long voice-over explains the world of “Hitman: Agent 47” in great detail; then we get a similar monologue with all the same information from a character.
There are other parts of the plot that are never fully explained nor make sense. These are mostly with the character of Katia, who she is, how she’s connected and what exactly her capabilities are.
Even the dialogue tries to be clever and funny, but it’s more cheesy one-liners than anything else.
“Hitman: Agent 47” reinforces a truth that most people already know: Just because something looks beautiful on the outside doesn’t mean there are any brains on the inside.