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Non-Review Review: Hitman – Agent 47

Hitman: Agent 47 is not a good film, but it is bad in interesting ways.

The video game adaptation fad of the nineties has given way to a wave of blockbuster comic book movies. Those comic book adaptations have fared much better – both critically and commercially – than fare like Super Mario Brothers or Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. As such, Hitman: Agent 47 feels like something of an outlier; it is a reboot of a video game property that already failed to take flight in a movie released eight years ago. Even if there is a resurgent interest in video game movies, it seems strange to return to this video game movie.

You know, that looks like a highly impractical way to hold those guns...

You know, that looks like a highly impractical way to hold those guns…

At the same time, there is something quite compelling about the structuring of Hitman: Agent 47. Perhaps inspired by the success of the relative fidelity of twenty-first century comic book adaptations, Hitman: Agent 47 struggles to provide a relatively faithful adaptation of the game-playing experience. Though the structure and tone of the movie might jar with the source material, director Aleksander Bach is careful to preserve as much of the game-play experience as possible. Extended sequences of Hitman: Agent 47 play as a walkthrough of a life-like video game.

Which, of course, only serves to make the film feel somewhat redundant; watching a bunch of actors play through scripted game-play-like scenarios might offer a faint echo of the thrill of playing a video game, but captures none of the investment.

Bloody mess...

Bloody mess…

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