Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)

Rating: **
Review Date: 8/22/15
Cast: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto, cameos by Jurgen Prochnow, Angelababy

"Don't put your faith in me. You'll only be disappointed."

The same could be said about this film. It's been eight years since the last "Hitman" (2007) film, and this one is just as stupid and forgettable. Katia (Hannah Ware) is a young woman with superhuman abilities and heightened sensory perception, and a powerful organization called The Syndicate wants to create an army of super soldiers based on her DNA. A rival organization sends Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) to get the girl first, which results in a non-stop barrage of blood and bullets.

It's an innocuous and solidly mediocre film about life, death, and free will that benefits from some beautiful locations and a handful of interesting stunts, but it lacks charisma and is dragged down by an outrageous and incoherent narrative. Rupert Friend gives a more favorable performance of Agent 47 than Timothy Olyphant did, but he still lacks intensity and a sense of presence, and seems too young for the role. I suppose an assassin isn't supposed to have presence, but you want a character like Agent 47 to come across as cold, intimidating, and larger than life. Hannah Ware does an adequate job as the emotional anchor in the story, but she never becomes the ultimate bad-ass that she's supposed to be. Her action scenes are brief and uninspired, which is disappointing. I was hoping to see more of Asian mega-star Angelababy, but she literally has less than 20 seconds of screen time. Why is she even in the film? Did she just happen to be in town while they were shooting?

The film is pretty much wall-to-wall action, padded with awkward and uninteresting filler material. The action is highly kinetic, but lacks any sense of tension and rhythm. The fight scenes are especially weak, mostly due to poor cinematography and irresponsible editing. Gratuitous use of shaky-cam techniques also spoils the mood. Still, its heart is in the right place and it's a marginally entertaining ride if you can overlook its numerous flaws and shortcomings. A guilty pleasure at best.