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Review Hitman: Agent 47 (2015): Poor adaptation of the video game but still enjoyable as long as it lasts.

genre: action, crime, thriller





Was I really surprised this was going to be a poor adaptation of the video game series? No! Hollywood fails to grasp the idea why certain video games are popular in the first place. Often they make the mistake to focus on the story. And while that sometimes is very important in video games it's not the only thing that draws people to it. It's the gameplay. The gameplay is usually what makes a game exciting and popular. Of course there are games that are more story based but Hitman was never one of those. Hitman is about an assassin who receives targets and usually is free to approach and dispose of the targets as he see fits. Usually this means he has to do it in a way that no one gets suspicious of his activities and that he can waltz out without people noticing. 

Both this film and it's predecessor get this completely wrong. Instead of stealthy assassinations we get to see highly violent and explosive action scenes that are so far removed of what a hitman should be like it simply is not funny any more.  Now I understand that visually speaking it is not that exhilarating to watch someone kill silently. That could be downright tedious. Although I do remember some scenes in The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape and The Guns from Navarone where they made stealth thrilling and awesome. So it does depend on the quality of the director. Aleksander Bach who seems to not have directed films before seems competent enough but clearly lacks the vision needed to make The Hitman movie the fans are waiting for. Although like I said that will never happen since it is impossible to translate gameplay into a film. Just accept that even when a game is very cinematic that video games are a different medium from films and have more going on for them than just the story. All of the Hitman games are based on stealth where you do get the freedom to play it more like a shooter but clearly discourages you from doing so because it makes the game so much more difficult. And for this reason I fail to understand why people would make an adaptation of a game that encourages stealth. You better know your stuff before even attempting such a project. 

So what about the plot and the action. The plot is very minimal, average and not interesting in the slightest. The actors however make it worth it. I liked most of them and I was surprised about Rupert Friend. He took his role serious enough and I thought he was very convincing as Agent 47. Too bad that he is let down by generic plot and action scenes. Most of the action is passable and decent but none of them will impress that much and for that I do blame the poor vision of the director. If you are going to sell this film as an action film then you have to do better. You have to go all out and over the top like they do in those Resident Evil movies. Meaning that you have to add some style to it but more important not to take all this stuff too seriously. Let's face it the whole concept of Hitman is quite outrageous and pure escapism and you should never lose sight of that. That being said though Hitman: Agent 47 has some plot elements and events that are too far fetched for it's own good. You will know when you get confronted by them and makes it real hard to swallow especially since everything is played straight forward. 

I found myself enjoying this flick more than I was cringing or disliking it for some reason. But don't confuse this with being good as it falls short in many ways and it is very much a forgettable film.



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