Thursday, September 3, 2015

"Hitman: Agent 47" Review

"Hitman: Agent 47" is the second film based on "Hitman" the popular video game series available for Xbox and Playstation. In 2007 Timothy Olyphant shaved his head and took up the mantle as one of the worlds best assassins and now in 2015 the audience is given an entirely new cast and premise. By no means is this film a sequel. Directed by Alexander Bach "Hitman: Agent 47" takes the audience on a brand new trip around the globe while Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) attempts to locate Katia (Hannah Ware) before the Syndicate search team led by John Smith (Zachary Quinto) finds her and forces her to locate her father who holds important information that could change warfare, forever.

The film has enough enjoyable twists throughout to keep you engaged even though the cuts/edits draw your attention away from what's happening on screen. If you have any sensitivity to flashing lights this film has the potential to give you epileptic seizures but is entertaining enough that you probably won't be mad once you stop shaking. Additionally, the action sequences had potential if not for the fact the camera angles almost seemed intentionally distracting leading the viewer to assume these actors couldn't fulfill the physical requirements of the film.

The story is entertaining enough to warrant a watch either at matinee prices, a Redbox rental or online via an Apple TV download once available. However the cost of a full evening ticket price might leave some disappointed as the film falls short on the technical aspects that help drive the story & keep viewers engaged. The flashback sequences had an intentional blur effect to remind viewers the adult just on screen is now the child on screen (which wasn't necessary). Very little was left to the viewers imagination in this regard unfortunately.

There is good news. The fact this films protagonist is an assassin certainly suggests that action would be a driving force for the story. The violence didn't disappoint and if you just want a film that allows massive explosions, clever methods of killing people, helicopter rides and car chases this movie won't disappoint. The amount of action met if not exceeded expectations.

The special effects and music were reminiscent of the late 80’s and early 90’s action films. There was even some dialogue that felt like it was paying homage to the films that were featured during a period when the American slogan “movies for guys who like movies” was popular. One shouldn't be surprised considering the film is about an assassin and the last chatty film assassins I can remember were Martin Blank (John Cusack) and Grocer (Dan Ackroyd) in "Gross Pointe Blank" back in 1997.  This film was not heavy on dialogue and rightly so; however, the story telling then relies on the visual medium and while the action was ever present the special effects were blatantly obvious and the edits/cuts were so choppy it was at best a distraction.

If you want to see a film that's action driven with little thought required this is the perfect choice for you. It delivers on popcorn action sequences that excite even if they don't necessarily make sense.

I give it a shoulder shrug & a smile. No thumbs up though & zero high fives.

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