Blu-Ray Review: ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ Misses The Mark
The ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ Blu-Ray aims high with bonus content, but no amount of special features can put this sloppy sequel on target.
Based on Danish stealth video game series which launched in 2000 with “Hitman: Codename 47,” ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ is more like a video game cut scene than a feature film.
‘Hitman: Agent 47’ is billed as a crime/ thriller only to convey ample portions of the former while being almost devoid of the latter. In this sequel to the poorly received 2007 ‘Hitman,’ Agent 47 teams up with a woman to help her find a mystery man who abandoned her as a child and to uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Etc.) – 2
‘Hitman: Agent 47’ fails to find its footing, as it struggles with an inconsistent tone, muddled plot and one-dimensional acting. Overall the film was painfully boring. Even the lethargic action sequences seemed to lull the audience to sleep.
‘Agent 47’ sacrifices character development and cohesive plot development in place of cheap CGI heavy action and cliche template dialogue.
Taking the reigns of super-assassin Agent 47 from the previously unsuccessful Timothy Olyphant, Rupert Friend does his best to breath life into the stoic and robotic character to no avail. The problem is that Friend’s best is not enough to overshadow the frantic cuts and disingenuous character development.
Zachary Quinto was supposed to be the one ‘logical’ part of the movie (har har… Get it?). Instead, Quinto’s John Smith was one of the films biggest conundrums. His character is surrounded by so many developmental holes that it’s hard to watch the former Spock and Sylar playing such an erroneous role. What’s worse is that Quinto and Friend have zero fight chemistry throughout the film, although I fault the director more so for reasons I will get to in a bit.
While Hannah Ware does have a certain on-screen magnetism, her charisma is not enough to make her character any less problematic. Aside from having an inconsistent motivation, which is no fault of her own, Ware’s character can’t decide if she’s a damsel, a highly-skilled agent or a bleeding heart.
Perhaps my biggest problem with the movie was, aside from the cheap and un-impactful actions sequences, that the film never gives the audience a reason to care about what’s going on. As a director, Bach really drops the ball when it comes to giving the audience a means of connecting with the main characters. Taking it further, the inconsistency in tone confuses the hodgepodge of a story even more, almost losing all sense of direction by the middle of the film. Don’t even get me started on how easy it is for the opposing characters to gain each other’s trust, right after they are practically enemies (that’s another issue altogether).
It doesn’t help that director Aleksander Bach makes his feature film debut with this complicated and problematic project. A project with a precedent of failure on the big screen. A concept of this scope needs mastery in balancing CGI, dialogue and story, and Bach is visibly a novice when it comes to all three.
Entertainment Value – 2
While the CGI is clean and the action is present, it all seems gratuitous and without cinematic value. In plain terms – it’s boring.
Friend’s Agent 47 is less like an enthralling stealthy assassin and more like the cheap love-child of the T-1000 from ‘Terminator 2’ and Agent Smith from ‘The Matrix.’ The film gives Agent 47 an impossibly invincible aura in the first act only to suddenly give the character numerous flaws for the sake of story. Everything just seems stale.
I blame Bach for the ailing fight chemistry between Friend’s Agent 47 and Quinto’s John Smith. I almost completely blame Bach. The action scenes exclusively used quick cuts to suggest all the impacts within the fight sequences. Not only does this make for a visually choppy presentation, but on top of that none of the fighting looked remotely believable. It consisted of a lot of rolling on the ground and close shots of the opposing character looking up… Over and over agin.
If you are a fan of action, this is not going to satiate your desires. There are truly only a handful of scenes worth remembering. If you’re a fan of people slowly rolling on the ground shooting guns, ample CGI blood splatter, and extreme reaction close ups, then cheers. Dinner is served.
Re-Watchability – 1.5
No, just no. I will go as far as to say that I will not actively watch ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ anytime in the foreseeable future. In the event a third ‘Hitman’ movie is made, I’m preemptively declining to watch it now. ‘Hitman’ was bad, ‘Agent 47’ was worse. Fool me three times… Well you won’t fool me again.
Blu-Ray Extras – 4
Aesthetically speaking, the movie is well packaged. The graphic is eye catching and the slip cover adds a nice bit of shelf presence.
As far as special features go, they are plentiful. My favorite feature has to be the included miniature ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ graphic novel. It’s rare to find any loose items inside Blu-Ray cases these days, so when you open this up and find a well-made comic book it’s a definite win. The e-comic is also a nice touch for those more into using their iPads or eReaders versus paging through print media.
'Hitman: Agent 47' fails to find its footing, as it struggles with an inconsistent tone, muddled plot and one-dimensional acting. Overall the film was painfully boring, where even the lethargic action sequences seemed to lull the audience to sleep. As far as Blu-Ray special features go, they are plentiful and unique. There is even a mini graphic novel inside the case. Ultimately the "Hitman: Agent 47" Blu-Ray aims high with bonus content, but no amount of special features can put this sloppy sequel on target.
‘Hitman: Agent 47’ is available for purchase on Blu-Ray as well as digital formats.
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