A dog dumped into the dog (movie) days of August, “Hitman: Agent 47,” arrives as the “worst reviewed movie of the summer.”
But is it the worst of the worst? Not if you’ve seen “The Curse of Downer’s Grove,” or “Amnesiac.”
A violently stylish Euro-thriller that serves up the architectural wonders of Berlin and Singapore in its exteriors, and Zachary Quinto battling Rupert Friend in its interiors, it’s like every other killer-in-a-black-suit since “Pulp Fiction.”
Only no fun, no thrills, no empathy for anybody. Yes, it’s based on a video game. Surprised?
Katia (Hannah Ware) could use a little empathy. She’s on the run, hunted by this menace (Rupert Friend of “The Young Victoria”) with a shaved head and a bar code tattooed in the crease of his neck. He is “Agent 47.”
“That’s not a name.”
“No, but it is mine.”
He’s been sent to get Katia, daughter of a famous scientist who’s gone into hiding. He has a black suit, bulky with pistols packed underneath it. He wears a black overcoat and carries a black bag loaded with black knives and guns and killing toys. He always gets his quarry.
John Smith (Quinto, of “Star Trek) shows up and offers to save Katia. He, too, wants to know where the scientist-dad is.
The movie has all of the promise a thriller with Quinto brawling, shooting and trash talking Friend can offer. Which isn’t a lot. Ware’s Katia evolves from helpless “package” to active participant, as Katia has the ability to reason out situations super-fast with a kind of genetically-engineered clairvoyance.
Director Aleksander Bach manages the obligatory car chases and shootouts with skill, if not panache. He puts Ware into a swimsuit and gets his product placement (Beretta firearms, Audi automobiles) in. Veteran character actors Thomas Kretschmann and Jurgen Prochnow have thankless bit parts.
It’s all perfectly silly, and Friend, at least, strains to put his tongue in his cheek through all the mayhem.
It often seems that “Agent 47” is more concerned with landscape, buildings, offices and subway stations than it is with characters. It’s a lost cause and we lose interest long before we’re shown the exotic architecture of Singapore.
Cast: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto, Ciaran Hinds, Thomas Kretschmann, Jurgen Prochnow
Credits: Directed by Aleksander Bach, script by Skip Woods and Michael Finch. A 20th Century Fox release.
Running time: 1:36