Hitman: Agent 47 movie poster
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Hitman: Agent 47
Hitman: Agent 47 movie poster

Hitman: Agent 47 Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

For some reason I agreed to review Hitman: Agent 47 as it hits Blu-ray (after actively avoiding it for the two weeks it was in theaters), a critically reviled action movie that's a sequel to another critically reviled action movie you probably don't remember. The 2007 version at least starred the charismatic Timothy Olyphant--this new one stars the much-less-personable Rupert Friend, though the actor is hardly to blame for Agent 47's inadequacies.

As poorly reviewed as Hitman: Agent 47 is--only 8% of critics liked the movie, according to Rotten Tomatoes, somehow underthrowing its predecessor's 14%--the movie isn't entirely grueling to watch. Pop it in late on a rainy Saturday night when your girlfriend or wife is away and expect very little in the way of true quality and you'll find that Agent 47 is fast paced, action-packed and, at 90 minutes, a breeze.

Pace and quantity of action are the movie's saving graces, and if that's all you want/need then you could do worse.

Sadly, first-time director Aleksander Bach appears to have pulled elements from other, better action movies and glued them together to make a hodgepodge that looks a lot like that ugly arts-and-crafts project your four-year-old made at preschool last week. There is a lot of action, but none of it is particularly exciting or well done.

The story and screenplay are even more cringe-inducing. For some reason, Skip Woods, who wrote the original Hitman, was brought back for this sequel, and this after he also wrote the wretched X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the offensively terrible A Good Day to Die Hard. The movie is largely incoherent, and even worse--it doesn't make you care. Friend's Agent 47 lacks any kind of personality, and when his character does show sparks of something other than sociopathy it comes off as insincere. It doesn't help that Woods and co-writer Michael Finch (Predators) try and fail to pull off a weak bait-and-switch, first presenting Agent 47 as the bad guy and the villainous John Smith (Zachary Quinto) as the opposite. The film fails to develop any form of cohesion or the sense that it's building to something worthwhile.

Hitman: Agent 47 isn't as terrible as I expected to be--its fast pace glosses over some of its shortcomings--but that doesn't mean the movie is anywhere close to good. Featuring haphazard action, a boring story and an even blander screenplay, Hitman: Agent 47 offers little of true value.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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