Film Review: Hitman – Agent 47


2007 saw the debut of the ‘Hitman’ series on the big screen with Timothy Olyphant as the titular lead character. This time, Rupert Friend (previously known for his work in American series ‘Homeland’) takes on the role as the shaven headed assassin.

He’s up against Zachary Quinto (Spock in the contemporary ‘Star Trek’ film series) in a battle to find Katia Von Dees (Hannah Ware) before the other does. Katia is wanted as the only lead to finding the missing scientist Dr. Peter Litvenko who in the 1960s designed and created the “Agent” program, a cloning experiment that creates assassins with mental and physical abilities enhanced to maximum levels (Agent 47 being the 47th version of the assassin clone). The results are so effective that, fraught with the consequences of what may happen should he continue with his work, the scientist disappears. Many unsuccessful attempts have been made over the years to replicate this program and now a shadowy group called “The Syndicate” want to find the scientist in order to finally perfect it and create their own.

Rupert Friend takes the lead role in this latest movie reincarnation of the hit game.

Rupert Friend takes the lead role in this latest movie reincarnation of the hit game.

Hitman: Agent 47’ faces the problem that all ideas do when crossing over from the computer console to the big screen. Fans of the games obviously want the filmmakers to stay faithful to the original character, but the filmmakers want to stamp their own flavour on things too. The beginning of the film shows Agent 47 as particularly chilling and ruthless as expected, while Katia is believable as the lost soul who’s alone in the world who only knows that she needs to find the mysterious scientist in her dreams. Zachary Quinto is somewhat predictable in his role as “John Smith” and never seems to find any purchase in his efforts to be the menacing tough guy he’s trying to be. The filmmakers would have done a lot better to focus on his boss (the head of The Syndicate) as the main villain.

However, the main problem is that for those who are fans of the video games, Rupert Friend just isn’t the right fit for the role. Any quick google search of the character will show you a tough, hardened, broad shouldered, rugby player-esque physique the likes of which you would not want to meet down a dark alley, all with a touch of calm ruthlessness that you would expect of an elite assassin devoid of emotion. Rupert Friend manages the latter rather effectively (despite the viewer having to ignore his lapses from American back to his native English accent) but just doesn’t have the stature or build to carry off the physical threat of someone genetically altered to be in peak condition.

Typically, with a film such as this, there are plenty of car chases, shoot outs and fisticuffs to please any action aficionados. The story’s a bit thin and ragged around the edges, some of the dialogue leaves a lot to be desired and there are a few moments where you find yourself questioning the storyline. At the end of the day though it’s a classic Netflix film; good enough to waste a couple of hours on but not quite worth you adding to your DVD or Blu-ray collection.


Author – Steve, Bristol store