Flesh Wound Only
Oh dear, the curse of the video game movie continues.
What we don’t need is a Hitman movie. What we do need is a Hitman TV series. Think about it. In any of the Hitman games you spend what; 10? 20 hours? involved in that one character? multiply that by the 4 games there has been and you have a significant amount of time invested in not only watching the character but being that character.
Now try to boil this down into under 2 hours of hands off media and make it resonate with both fans of the original games and newcomers alike?
It’s possible. You just need to pick what you show and keep it focused and concise, which is something Hitman doesn’t really do. It tries to tell you about the agent programme into which Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) is born, about other mysterious agents, the syndicate that created the agency programme and then the reasons why Agent 47 wants to destroy the whole syndicate.
It’s too much. A TV series would allow modular episodes where 47 has to take out a target and focus on the planning of how to complete the assassination – a bit like the antithesis of Sherlock Holmes. It also gives you longer to build up a story arc and get to know a character who is actually quite bland.
This is one of the main problems with the film is that Agent 47 just isn’t that charismatic. He rarely speaks and because of his conditioning barely feels any emotions. He is as cold and heartless as Katie Hopkins. Actually, Katie Hopkins is much more of a vile human than the assassin.
Because he rarely speaks or emotes you rally don’t care about his relationship – if you can call it that – with Katia (Hannah Ware). There is no humour, no clever dialogue, no signs of affection or desperation to protect her and at times she just feels like a lost puppy trailing anyone who happened to give it a morsel of food.
Katia herself is more of an open book and does manage to redeem some of the lacking dialogue and emotions but it’s when she is reveal to be an agent that she comes into her own… sort of. But her character is cannibalised by the ridiculousness of training for what only feels like 5 minutes and suddenly she’s an unstoppable killing machine as well. It is good fun to watch her do this but there is little logic behind it.
Of course, the main reason you are watching a film called Hitman is to see a man assassinating targets with ease. Thankfully the film provides enough of this gun-play and garroting to keep you entertained from start to finish, however, the switching between actor and stunt doubles feel particularly notable.
Similarly the editing is quite poor in these areas. You still get the overall feel of the action but it cuts at the wrong moments. If you want a master class of gun-fu then look no further than the jaw dropping John Wick and comparatively Hitman under-performs.
Speaking of John, the best aspect of the film was John Smith. No I wasn’t drinking bitter, although perhaps that would have helped, I’m referring to Zachary Quinto’s character. Quinto out acts anyone in the film and his sheer single minded determination to execute his orders actually makes him a worthy adversary.
The plots twist at the end could have been really good but there is too much going on to make any real sense of the intricacies at work within the film. The acting and on screen chemistry doesn’t really help the story but at least the hail keeps you entertained throughout even if it’s not the killer film it wanted to be.
- Fun with a gun
- John Smith – not the drink
- One dimensional lead
- Katia: “Who are you?… oh wait, I’m now a master assassin!”
- Tried to do way too much