Hitman Agent 47 review: fires and misses

A film is dealing in faint praise when its location manager is singled for commendation

Film Title: Hitman: Agent 47

Director: Aleksander Bach

Starring: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto, Ciarán Hinds, Thomas Kretschmann, Angelababy

Genre: Action

Running Time: 96 min

Thu, Aug 27, 2015, 21:00

   

Hitman might be a sequel to the 2007 film based on the video game about a genetically engineered killer who has a smart red tie at the front of his neck and a barcode at the back. Then again it might be a reboot. Or a prequel. Who could possibly care?

Shot way back when Timothy Olyphant was still in movies, the opening episode sent its smartly clad hero about Europe in lonely evasion of Interpol and some organ of the Russian state. This time he has a female friend. The impressive Hannah Ware (she’s singer Jessie Ware’s sister, don’t you know) plays an English woman desperately searching for her mysterious father (Ciarán Hinds) in Berlin. Somewhere along the way, she appears to be targeted by the titular assassin (Rupert Friend), but, following interactions with an unexpected Zachary Quinto, she realises that they might be able to form common cause. Do you see what they’ve done there? It’s Hitman and Her. Do you get it? Like that programme from the 1990s with Pete Waterman and Michaela Strachan. Ha ha! Oh please yourself…

Hitman and Her (I’m going to keep at this whether you like it or not) is actually a little better than Hitman Without Her (see?). Ware does not have the range of Dame Flora Robson, but there is enough humanity there to offer contrast to the robotic protagonist. You know a film is dealing in faint praise when its location manager is singled out for commendation, but we nonetheless note excellent use of gritty Berlin backgrounds and of the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.

Hitman and Her (this will be over soon) also deserves thumbs up for providing Zachary Quinto and Ciarán Hinds with new conservatories. I can’t think why else they would have agreed to be in the thing.

Hitman and Her.