by Heinrich Domingo
There are stories that can be endlessly reproduced. Versions of their plots can be readily sold mainly relying on the versatility of the main character. Examples are James Bond and Sherlock Holmes’ persona which could be brought in television, video game, or comics. In its hope to be just like these two, Hitman: Agent 47 is produced this year following its predecessor in 2007. What the filmmakers did not know was that their agent cannot be at par with the well-celebrated figures because he runs out of ingenuity, innovation, and character before even reaching the battlefield.
The film is about an assassin who helps a woman to find her father. Both are gifted with superhuman abilities that make them invincible. They then end up killing a syndicate leader in his fortress in Singapore.
In its hope to excite the viewing crowd, Hitman: Agent 47 introduces the concepts of artificial intelligence, human nature, and filial relationship. Its main characters are presented as products of an experiment to enhance human ability. In contrast, its villain is a syndicate leader who feeds on his eagerness to steal the formula of superhuman creation.
This plot could have filled the cinema and created waves of fans if only it was released half a century early. The moviemakers failed to remind themselves that what they wish to do has been repeatedly done even reaching the point of exhaustion. In the recent years, Mission Impossible, Bourne Legacy, Men in Black, and many others have introduced cool gadgets, death-defying tricks, and pseudo-medical discoveries that lured movie-goers.
With its clichéd foundation, the film continues its story-telling using characters that might have been created out of accidents. There was no justification why the two main characters met, no reasoning why Agent 47 had a sudden change of heart, and no explanation why a syndicate leader would still wish to create superhuman while he already has one.
Choosing Singapore as the film’s backdrop could have given a new perspective for the film. Yet, the production chose to set it inside boring buildings featuring the artificiality of the country. The visual potential of this culturally diverse environment was put into waste.
If there is a singular element that is worthy of praise, it is Rupert Friend’s (as Agent 47) acting. His presentation as a heartless and tough protagonist is reminiscent to the previous description of Hitman. From his striking stature and iconic baldness, Friend was able to entice the audience for a time.
Hitman: Agent 47 proves that a rehash of certain movie characters need more than publicity. As the audience is presented with bloodier and more death-defying spy and agent films, production houses are challenged to seek for fresher takes and bolder moves.
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