Hitman: Agent 47 opens in cinemas on Thursday, August 27. Based on the hugely successful series of video games, the bullet-riddled action triller sees British actor Rupert Friend go bald and don the iconic red tie to play the eponymous, genetically engineered assassin.
After a disappointingly drab attempt to bring Hitman to the big screen back in 2007, with Timothy Olyphant in the lead role, can this reboot finally hit the target?
What is it about?
Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) is the final product of years of scientific tinkering to create the perfect assassin. Known by a barcode tattoo on the back of his neck, 47 carries out high-profile contracts assigned to him by his handler, Diana (Angelababy).
For his latest mission, Diana orders 47 to hunt down and kill Dr Litvenko (Ciaran Hinds), mastermind of the Agent program.
A huge corporation called Syndicate International fronted by Le Clerq (Thomas Kretschmann) is also looking for Litvenko and intends to use his ground-breaking research to create an unstoppable army of obedient trained killers
The only way to flush the scientist out of hiding is by using his daughter Katia (Hannah Ware) as bait. Agent 47 tracks her down in Berlin, where battle ensues between the hit man and her enigmatic protector, John Smith (Zachary Quinto).
Who is in it?
Homeland actor Rupert Friend, Shame’s Hannah Ware, Star Trek star Zachary Quinto, King Kong’s Thomas Kretschmann, Ciaran Hinds from Game Of Thrones, and Hong Kong model Angelababy
Is it worth a watch?
Director Aleksander Bach’s frenetic action thriller falls into the same trap as so many video game spin-offs. It fails to replicate the thrill of assuming control of an iconic character and nervously guiding them through the digital realm.
Bach clearly loves the Hitman games and confidently orchestrates action set pieces, punctuated by slow motion acrobatics and explosions, while Rupert Friend is suitably lifeless as our protagonist and excels in his fight scenes with Zachary Quinto
Unfortunately, while Hitman: Agent 47 may offer a passable diversion for the action fans among us, for everyone else it’s best avoided.
It may be a tiny improvement on the 2007 film, but it’s a close call.