Hitman: Agent 47 game out yesterday. If you read what the critics (Rotten Tomatoes) said about it, you would think this movie was an abomination to cinema. Actual audience reviews (who I value over paid critics) gave it a much more favorable rating. Since my job was closed early for the Labor Day weekend, I went over to Loews 34th Street to catch it.
Before I get to the movie, I must state that I’m a fan of the game. I have in my collection Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Hitman: Blood Money, and Hitman: Absolution. I’ve really enjoyed the games especially Hitman: Absolution and loved the idea of seeing a feature film based on it. Hitman (2007), with Timothy Olyphant as 47, wasn’t bad but it was a bit cartoonish. It was was a decent story and the action was ok overall but some scenes were really great. Olyphant didn’t physical feel like 47 and didn’t have that stoic look but I still got the general sense he was 47…his walk, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired. The best thing about the movie was being introduced to the actress Olga Kurylenko who played Nika. For me, I felt for her character and thought she was incredibly hot. Subsequently, she had a major role in Quantum of Solace, the second James Bond flick with Daniel Craig as Bond. (Side note: I am a big Bond fan as well. Quantum SUCKED and I still don’t particularly like the direction of the latest films and don’t like Craig as Bond. I was pleasantly surprised by Skyfall and intrigued by Spectre but I really want them to cast a new actor with some life. Long live Sean Connery as James Bond!)
Hitman: Agent 47 definitely embodies the vibe of the game and the character more than the first film. Rupert Friend, physically and emotionally, captured who I see as Agent 47 when I’ve played the game. There were great nods to the POV in the game, 47’s use of disguises and his movies using his twin, silver .45 automatics. The storyline reminded me of Hitman: Absolution and liked what they did with the character played by Hannah Ware, who first came onto my radar from Starz’s Boss and ABC’s Betrayal. The action was quite good and moved well from the silent takedowns to the multiple enemy slaughter. Zachary Quinto played Agent Smith, who I’m not sure if he’s the same Agent Smith from the game or some character specific to this movie—he says his real name is Brian when asked in the movie. The casting, acting, dialogue and locations were good, and again, fit the spirit of what the game is about. Naturally, the door was left open to a sequel which I would like to see with the same main actors. However, if it’s recast, I might not be bothered to go see it as I feel they have the right mix here.
Back to these paid critics—what the hell is their problem? Most of the times, they’re unfamiliar with the original source when it comes to games and comics. They treat these movies as if it’s meant to be some art house masterpiece when it’s just freakin’ entertainment. If I read the comics or played the game, I am looking to see if the translation captures the spirit and tonality of the source material. I am not looking for an exact translation as I understand, especially as a creative, that not all things translate well to different mediums. Written stories can go into such minute details that a two-hour film just can’t. A video game needs to be filled out as a film thus you can’t get a clone of what you’ve played or read. Hitman: Agent 47 does a pretty good job of bringing to life an assassin that’s incredibly fun to play as in a game and is even cooler to see on the big screen.
So, when’s the next one coming out?