By Kerwin Holmes, Jr.
So, despite the reviews that I saw online, I saw the latest Hitman movie. Boy, was that something. SPOILER alert, nerds.
So, I saw Hitman. Not the awkward 2007 movie that’s still okay to see on FX every now and again, but the 2015 film. And man, I was expecting a downright doozy, and I was disappointed, very thankfully.
So, the film is edgy and harkens back to the original feels of the Hitman games where we really don’t know if Agent 47, the character assassin of the franchise, is even a real hero. When the film begins, we are suddenly thrust into the action of the opening minutes as Agent 47 (whose head hair shadow did bother me briefly) is trying to shoot a random woman named Katia who obviously has spent a long time of her life running. It triggers the emotions, and none emulated all of the emotions more than my sister as she, my dad, and I sat watching the film.
Now, like I implied earlier, I know Hitman. So the eventual “Oh wait, I’m the good guy here” thing for Agent 47 was what I expected to see eventually…I just honestly was in the dark as to how that was going to happen. But my sister, whose memory of action films is sketchy unless they are really (and I mean really) superb, had no clue of what was going down. It was great seeing her wrestle with her emotional and moral leanings as the action unfolded. In one moment, she was close to jumping through the screen and taking 47 out before he got to Katia (which seemed inevitable in the early flow of action). Then, she was yelling at Katia not to trust “John Smith,” the random agent who comes to Katia’s aid. As a quip, my sister even said that his name gave him away as distrustful. Way to go for Native pride, sis! In another moment, my sister was routing for 47 as he faced an impossible barrage of bullets and kung-fu proficient agents.
Still, Hitman: Agent 47 kept spinning toward an uncertain climax for a while as the backstory to the action gradually revealed itself. I remember my sister even pondering whether Katia was the real baddy in the film.
I must say, seeing the flow of events impact a person with absolutely no exposure to Hitman’s world in such extreme ways was very great. That is essentially what Hitman is all about, we never know who is friend of foe until the final battle takes place.
And the action scenes were believable for the most part given the super-enhanced and genetically-altered assassin motif. But, when 47 and “John Smith” aka Agent Brian fell atop a fast-moving subway train in their first clash, the rigid engineering minds of my dad and sister kind of ruined my glossing over the outrageous unlikelihood of their surviving such a fall. Yeah, I know, people don’t usually survive falling on top of a fast-moving subway train.
But the film held me all the way through. No, it isn’t the outright best or life-altering action film of the year. But the film did Hitman justice, and it really made up for the first one’s awkward Russian adventure that couldn’t seem to differentiate itself from the Matrix Trilogy. I highly recommend that you all go see it. Did I even give anything crucial about the film away? Um, okay, no SPOILER alert then. Oh well. Guess this isn’t Star Wars.
Oh yeah. This definitely is not Star Wars. Hitman: Agent 47 may not have had the budget that Disney and Lucasfilm can muster up on a holiday, but their portrayal of the female lead was superb. Granted, Katia took a little while to get into the swing of the action, but this is exactly what happens when you let a female lead just be instead of trying to make an overtly politicized gender statement. Katia’s reluctance fitted seamlessly within the story plot and her own characterization. See? I didn’t even notice that Katia was the obvious boss of the film, cause she wasn’t, but I tell you right now that I hope developers put her in a future Hitman game as a cameo and/or playable character. Because Katia rocks; go check out the film to find out why.