Friday, 4 September 2015

Hitman Agent 47 (2 Stars)

Warning: This review contains spoilers!

This is the second film based on the Hitman video game series. The first film was made in 2007, the second in 2015. The films are unrelated to one another, apart from being based on the same video games. This means that the second film is neither a sequel nor a remake of the first.

The first 20 minutes of the film were so awful that I felt like walking out of the cinema. The film begins in Berlin, where we see a young woman, Katia Van Dees, searching for information about her long lost father, not knowing whether he's alive or dead. Then she's attacked by a mysterious, unstoppable assassin, the Agent 47 in the title. She would have died if she weren't protected by a mysterious man called John Smith, played by Zachary Quinto, the film's only outstanding actor.

Does the plot sound familiar to you? Yes, it's Terminator all over again. Direct plagiarism. I kept on expecting Zachary to say "Come with me if you want to live".

After the first 20 minutes are over Zachary -- I mean John Smith -- finally explains to Katia what's going on, why Agent 47 is trying to kill her. Lots of exposition, but all for nothing. Shortly after this Agent 47 catches Katia and tells her he's actually trying to protect her from John Smith, who wants to take her prisoner and use her as bait to capture her father. More lengthy exposition. I was already getting confused, having problems telling the truth from the lies.

There are more plot twists, and in this review I won't shy away from spoilers, because I'm not recommending that anyone should go and see the film. When Katia finally finds her father, he tells her that Agent 47 is her brother. I didn't see that one coming, but rather than saying Wow I just groaned. Katia's real name isn't Katia Van Dees, it's Quatre-Vingt-Dix, the number 90 in French, meaning that she is unknowingly Agent 90. And then we find out that Agent 47 is planning to kill Katia after all. I would have been pulling my hair out, if I had any left to pull.

Towards the end of the film the action sequences get better. They're almost enough to make up for the awful first 20 minutes, but not enough to compensate for the ridiculous story with the over-complicated plot. Another problem is that the leading characters in the film, Agent 47 and Katia, are so dull that it's impossible to sympathise with them. The only likeable character is John Smith, the bad guy! That's screwed up.

I hope the video games are better than this film.

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