Let’s see. The genius scientist is from Ukraine, the evil-ish firm is headquartered in Singapore, the assassin Agent 47 kills everywhere, the woman to be rescued is holed up in Berlin (with a screaming British accent), and they all end up at the US Embassy. In the video game world where this scenario originated, the world is a very small, very round place.
That’s one way to explain this geographical mess where people keep getting their heads lopped off, in lots of bloody ways, to get to a 72-year-old scientist with rheumatoid arthritis and stage 3 lung cancer. The goal is to figure out how that scientist genetically configured super-assassins such as 47, who are remorse-less, fear-less and presumably love-less (the last conveniently left vague). Putting a drop of 47’s blood under a microscope should perhaps do the trick — and more safely — but who are we to argue with companies that spend billions on creating “subdermal titanium body armour”?
What that and a lot of other scientific terms essentially mean is that 47 (Friend) and the one with the subdermal armour, John Smith (Quinto), can’t be killed. However, as long as there are enough around to take the fall, that hasn’t stopped anyone since the first Terminator.
What both 47 and Smith want are Katia Van Dees (Ware), the daughter of scientist Litvenko (Hinds), who created the Agent programme. The firm that has built the subdermal armour, led by an Antoine de Clerq, still hasn’t managed to crack them into shape like 47, and so would like the extra help. Katia, abandoned by her father when a toddler, is seen as the key to get to Litvenko.
However, while Smith’s intentions seem straightforward, 47’s remain tenuous. In his more imaginative moments, director Bach tries to give the film a narrative about free will and people changing their fate through their actions, through conversations between Katia and 47, but there is always somebody lurking around the corner to kill.
Katia carries her own burden in terms of a super-human ability to sense what is going to happen, keeping her edgy and jumpy at all times. Ware makes the best she can of it. And frankly, Friend (Homeland) and Quinto aren’t bad either, even when required to be devoid of all emotions.
However, in a film where the most delicately handled is 47’s suit, that he hangs up carefully at the end of every blood-splattered day, really the only thing to be thankful for is that Sri Lanka is spared. One end of this geographical over-reach lies here.
Cast: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto, Ciaran Hinds
Director: Aleksander Bach