No Hit in Hitman: Agent 47




In the early 1950’s, two scientists discovered the structure of the DNA, a genetic material every organism with a cell shares. This finding necessitated two things- the first was that the two scientists would win a Nobel Prize for their work and the second was that, like every significant scientific discovery, this finding would be made the subject of sci-fi and horror fiction. Most of fictional renderings had to do with bettering this DNA structure and making human beings faster and stronger; and in some cases, even smarter. Many times smarter than the smartest person that has ever existed; more imaginative than Einstein, more creative than Darwin or Marx and more artistic than Shakespeare, Mozart and Picasso. Imagine what that person could achieve; he could design the perfect political system, cure cancer, help us populate the moon and unearth the Theory of Everything.

Agent 47, the main character of the new Hitman (by this time, it should be obvious that every film that comes through Matti Cinema is either a spin-off, a sequel or, in this case, a reboot) movie, shares this mind blowing genetic code but lacks the ambition to do anything significant with his life. What a waste of intelligence! Instead, he puts his brilliant mind, not to the acquisition of knowledge, but to the methodical assassination of high profile targets. Or, at least, this is what the creators of this movie want us to believe.

This maybe because Agent 47 did not choose this road for his life; the organisation that owns him did. It is simply called the Agency, and it had the technology and resources to change the genetic structure of human beings so as to make them efficient killers. And even though, this organisation is the only one that owns this super beings, others also crave this status; namely, an even more criminal company by the name of the Syndicate. And since they are not able to replicate the technology, they mercilessly search for the only one person that can, a Ukrainian born scientist that has disappeared from the face of the earth.

But the Syndicate has one last hope, the scientist’s daughter. As such, they make finding her – so as to lure her father in – their sole priority. But the Agency, that is the only owner of the Agents, hoping to monopolise the criminal underworld (which is just unsportsmanlike), send their most dangerous agent, Agent 47, to take care of both the daughter and the father. What takes place after this is an awesome and mind-bending narrative that unravels in such a thrillingly brilliant manner that it would make the father of suspense – Alfred Hitchcock – insecure about his talents in filmmaking.

I am just kidding. Hitman: Agent 47 is actually as bad and as pretentious (why does this word remind me of Kanye West, and Donald Trump?) as a movie ever gets. And this is a fact that no one would have had reason to assume otherwise. So, then why was it such a big deal at Edna Mall. I say this because the film’s trailer has been showing there as far back as three months ago. As if this was a reboot of a previously marvelous movie (which it was not, the 2007 version was less than mundane), as if the movie was directed or written by an even remotely important filmmaker, as if it starred any one person with a talent or even a trace of celebrity or as if the trailer looked good (all of the action sequences looked haphazard and the special effects asinine).

The production company responsible for this movie is the grand 20th Century Fox. People that dropped this company’s stock to buy that of Universal Studios are the luckiest people this year. While Universal made billion dollar investments with Furious 7, Jurassic World and Minions, 20th Century gave us in the past month’s Fantastic Four. It is silly to judge the merits of a movie by its production company but only if a director/writer has creative influence on the movie. If not, like the movies of the 1930’s – audiences could tell which movie came from which studio just by looking at the production design; each studio had its signature style of making movies – the movie is the brain child of whoever is financing it. Similarly, like Fantastic Four, Agent 47 is an adaptation of an already established intellectual property with a huge fan base. So, it would not be shocking to find out that the filmmakers were more like technical advisors than actual artists.

Francis Ford Coppola (God help those that do not know who this man is) once said about filmmaking, “When you start you want to make the greatest film in the world, but when you get into it, you just want to get it done, let it be passable and not embarrassing.” But what of those that did not even begin looking to make a good film. What if the film was made not by someone who respects the craft – the heart and soul of cinema – but someone that just wants to reap the reward? In that case, we get Agent 47, or the movies that usually populate Matti’s cinema halls.

 



By CHRISTIAN TESFAYE
SPECIAL TO FORTUNE

Published on Sep 07,2015 [ Vol 16 ,No 801]


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