Hitman: Agent 47, film review: Rupert Friend brings a soulful quality to a superficial movie

(15) Aleksander Bach, 96 mins. Starring: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto

Geoffrey Macnab
Friday 28 August 2015 01:03
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Strongest element: Rupert Friend as the agent assassin
Strongest element: Rupert Friend as the agent assassin

As you might expect from a film inspired by a video game, the rebooted Hitman: Agent 47 is slick but very superficial. Its strongest element is Rupert Friend as the agent assassin. Friend plays the agent shaven-headed, as if he is a better-looking version of the vampire in Nosferatu, albeit one who dresses like a bank clerk.

Against the odds, he brings a soulful quality to a character who has a bar code stamped on the back of his skull and has been programmed not to feel "pain, fear, even love".

The movie is essentially one long chase. Hannah Ware plays Katia van Dees, a young woman with hyper-sensitive survival skills who is trying to track down her missing father.

She, in turn, is being chased both by Agent 47 and rival agent John Smith (Zachary Quinto). There are moves afoot to revive the agent programme and, early on at least, it is quite impossible for either Katia or the audience to work out who are the villains.

Some of the set-pieces – chases through airports, fights on train tracks, car crashes or helicopters hurtling into skyscrapers – are very niftily choreographed but you can't help thinking this would be more fun as an interactive game.

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