‘Hitman: Agent 47’ : Avoid it as you would a real hitman.

There is a difference between a movie that leaves you speechless and one that leaves you with nothing to say. The first type includes the films that blew your mind away, and after your silence ends, you feel compelled to discuss, argue, speculate, philosophize and more. The second type leaves you with nothing to say because it’s put together in a way that eliminates any chance to think or talk about it.

When there is nothing more to say, the film becomes a vague memory, ready to completely fade out of your brain as soon as you leave the theatre. “Hitman: Agent 47” is one of those films. It does nothing new and, worse, throws characters right into the line of bullets without giving the audience any reason to care and cheer for them.

The film, based on a popular video game franchise, ­­tells the story of a genetically programed assassin who was created together with other 46 clones and then abandoned. These killers were supposed to lack human fears and possess unprecedented strength and skills. When the government decides to restart the cloning after many years, Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) knows he must stop the creation of the deadliest army on Earth.

The movie condenses all this plot into a rushed voice over during the opening credits. The film goes straight into a chase and fight sequence, followed by Agent 47 trying to kill a woman. There is no reason to care deeply for these characters because the audience isn’t told anything about them. This lack of narrative exposition results in scenes that have no dramatic tension, since we don’t know what is at stake until fairly late into the film.

When we finally learn that this woman, Katia (Hannah Ware), is the daughter of the scientist who engineered the agents, we seem ready for the movie to truly begin. Suddenly, however, Hitman chooses not to kill her. Even more inexplicably, she begins to trust him, hoping he can help her find her lost father.

It is in this sea of confusion where the viewer stands after thirty minutes. Characters are undeveloped and there is no reason to care for a woman whose story is unknown and whose friends and enemies change from scene to scene.

The killer, who should be a fantastic anti-hero, is “purified” by Hollywood. The result: he becomes politically correct, which turns him a boring character very quickly. He and Katia engage in philosophical discussions of why we act in certain ways and if we can be changed. And, even worse, these conversations affect what was supposed to be an emotionless character. Impossible not to miss the Hollywood of the 1980s and 90s, which gave us, for example, a limitless Robocop and an uncompromised storyline, without having to preach to us about fate and responsibility.

The scenes themselves are well-shot, but editing is not on par all the time. Sometimes “chase and fight” scenes have few wide shots of the action, which makes the viewer wish that more was shown. The quick cuts between close ups get tiring as the whole thing begins to feel staged. The prologue of the film works well because of its fast pace, but it’s a exception.

The acting is good, given the circumstances. Rupert Friend captures well the essence of a cold killer, who seems affected by nothing. His distant stare and serious expression is perfect for the role. Hannah Ware’s strong facial features are also impactful on screen. Ware never overdoes the drama, which allows the audience to see a strong, independent woman.

“Hitman: Agent 47” is a movie to be avoided, at least on the theaters still charging full price for it. It’s too politically correct and just a tiring sequence of action scenes.

Hopefully a reboot can be made where these characters are better developed and where Hollywood is not afraid of making an anti-hero stay true to its origins. Some stories intrigue us for showing the darkest aspect of a soul and all the intricacies that make a person tick. These are the unforgettable villains and anti-heroes. This new “Hitman”, however, isn’t that type of movie. Stick with the video game for now.

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