Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hitman: Agent 47

may have one of the worst RottenTomatoes critics rankings of a movie I've actually watched:  8% as of this writing.  Despite that horrible score, 51% of the audience liked it, and I had fun watching it.  The reason for this huge disparity is the usual one:  critics quite reasonably measured it against all films, while audiences reacted relative to their expectations.

From the beginning, the plot is clear:  our hero must first rescue the woman in trouble and then teach her how to come into her own hitman powers.  That's fine; you go to this sort of film for the ride, not to be surprised.  The ride is reasonable enough, and the action far enough over the top that I had a pleasant time with it.  What kept the movie from being more is largely its plot--which, as I said, is a known limiter--and the performances of its lead actors.

Rupert Friend portrays the main character with even less emotion than the director probably wanted, a choice that is in keeping with that character's background but that ultimately keeps viewers at a greater distance than is wise.  This choice has the particularly unfortunate consequence that when Friend's character finally should display some feelings, he remains locked in emotionless limbo.

Hannah Ware, the woman Friend must first rescue and then teach, walked through the film appearing largely annoyed and confused.  At times, those feelings were reasonable for her character and so resembled acting, but at other times her reactions should have varied more.

Not surprisingly, Zachary Quinto, playing the lead agent of the bad guys, turned in the best performance of the movie.  Quinto was clearly having a good time with the role for most of the film, and so he was almost always fun to watch.  He's almost enough of a reason to go to the movie.

If you want some big dumb fun, and if you're willing to accept the movie's many limits, Hitman: Agent 47 will repay you with 96 minutes of silly action and some fun turns by Zachary Quinto.  If you want more than that, give this one a pass.

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