There aren’t many good video game adaptations out there, and even those few good ones aren’t really all that good when compared to your average straight out action or horror movies. Silent Hill managed to get one good movie before diving into the suck, the Resident Evil franchise has able to make five entertaining action films, but that was by mostly abandoning anything from the games, and then there is Hitman, with two films based on the game and neither one any good at all.
Back in 2007 we had the first attempt at starting a Hitman movie franchise with Timothy Olyphant as the titular character, and it tanked horribly. Now eight years later we have Hitman: Agent 47 in an attempt to reboot the *cough cough* franchise, but they hired motherfucking Skip Woods to write the screenplay. Not only was he one of the hacks who wrote X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but he was the bloody bastard who wrote the 2007 Hitman movie. I think Albert Einstein had something to say about this, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
So when this cinematic turd hit the multiplex with a resounding thud no one was surprised, no one I guess except the studio execs who keep greenlighting this kind of trash. The film even had the nerve to start out with a three minute info dump narration to explain the backstory to the movie we were watching. Was dear ole Skip worried that audiences would get lost in his labyrinthine plot lines if he didn’t spell out everything ahead of time? Or was he more honestly worried that ten minutes into this movie they’d most likely be texting their friends and making plans for something better to do with their time?
The basics of the story is that a super-secret organization hired Dr. Piotr Litvenko (Ciarán Hinds) to create genetically enhanced assassins with super strength, intelligence, and reflexes, but then after having a daughter he grew a conscience and disappeared. He also left his daughter Katia behind. For you know, reasons. Not exactly Father of the Year material our dear Litvenko. Years later Antoine Le Clerq (Thomas Kretschmann), head of Syndicate International, wants to restart the program, but they need to find Litvenko to do it, and finding his daughter may be the key to all of that. Strangely enough we find a beautiful woman searching for him as well.
Katia (Hannah Ware) has been spending much of her life searching for a man, combing city archives for any sign of him, but what is weird is that she has no idea who the man is. So just how and why did she decide to look for this guy? All she has is a grainy picture to go by, and with no knowledge or memory of how this person is relevant to her, it makes her search beyond baffling. Enter John Smith (Zachary Quinto) who explains that the person she has been hunting is in fact her father, and that the Syndicate has sent Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) to kill her.
He offers information about her father that allows her to figure out where he is hiding, but is he really on her side? (Pssst, he’s not.) Now not only is this film chock full of sloppy screenwriting, it even blatantly rips off better movies. There is a scene where Katia and John are being held by American Embassy security in separate interrogation rooms, and then Agent 47 shows up and John has to help her escape while the Hitman is killing all the soldiers. The only thing this scene was missing was Rupert Friend saying, “I’ll be back.” But this film wasn’t happy just ripping off The Terminator, no they also go after Terminator 2 as well with the reveal that the killing machine that is Agent 47 has actually come to help Katia, and that they must work together to fight off John Smith, who after getting shot multiple times in the chest is revealed to have subdermal armor, and is working for the bad guys. Later they will storm Cyberdyne…I mean Syndicate International, for a big climatic shoot out.
Of course the real crime perpetrated by Skip Woods and director Aleksander Bach is that for an action film it is so godawful boring. I don’t care how many overly choreographed gun battles you can fit into your 96 minute movie if you don’t give a damn about the characters it just doesn’t matter. Every lame twist and turn and “surprise” reveal doesn’t register because we’ve not been made to care about anybody. Both Rupert Friend and Zachary Quinto have been directed to give the monotonous voice of your clichéd emotionless robot, and it’s just terrible. And as for our heroine Hannah Ware, well she comes across as a soccer mom on Quaaludes, and the more that was revealed about her character the less I found myself caring about her problems.
The movie has a stinger ending that set’s up the next installment in the franchise, but there is pretty much no chance that is going to happen as it didn’t even make us much as the first attempt. That we get this kind of crap, yet are still waiting for a Dredd sequel, makes one wonder just what they are smoking up in those Hollywood boardrooms.