Now that the first of them has come out, does Agent 47, with its lovingly shot scenes of Marina Bay, Changi Airport et al, live up to the hype? In a word, no.
The first act essentially steals its plot from The Terminator (1984) – a seemingly ordinary woman named Katia (Hannah Ware) is rescued by the mysterious John Smith (Zachary Quinto) from the clutches of unstoppable killing machine
Peter Quinn Agent 47 (Rupert Friend).
Like all good movie heroines, Katia has daddy issues – she’s in search of the man named Litvenko (Ciaran Hinds as a sort of retired Mance Rayder with a cannot-make-it Eastern European accent), and so is the sinister Syndicate International. No, not like the one in the far superior Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
The second act turns into season 3 of Homeland – broody assassin keeps crazy gifted woman safe, while putting up with her inane comments and occasionally crazy actions.
Friend lapses back into his British accent occasionally, but is perfectly fine as a sort of Peter Quinn on steroids.
Quinto, the once and former Sylar, makes awesome use of his eyebrows, while Ware is…okay loh. In truth, all the characters are just that: Fine. You don’t particularly care for them, but neither do you hate them.
The action sequences are not too bad, especially the shootout in the middle of Robinson Road, amidst an illogical number of Comfort cabs. We were there on one of the filming days, but alas, only saw Friends and Hinds’ stunt doubles.
But considering that the movie was produced with a hefty grant from the Media Development Authority – up to 40 per cent of the amount they spent in Singapore, according to the Wall Street Journal – , it feels like a missed opportunity, with most of the Singapore-set scenes filmed indoors.
Sure, the aforementioned landmarks all get their 15 minutes of fame – but it’s more like 30 seconds than 15 minutes. Even Gardens By The Bay, where an extended sequence is set, mostly consists of close-up shots.
Instead, it’s Parkroyal that gets the most exposure in the movie, along with some Singapore brands, both intentional and inadvertent. Even if Friend actually thinks chewing gum is banned here, while Quinto apparently didn’t find Singapore “gritty” enough.
As it stands, the movie is just about worth the price of (weekday) admission. Look out for Angelababy as 47’s handler Diana, and Nominated MP Janice Koh as random woman!
Hitman: Agent 47 is playing in Singapore now. Tell us what you think of the movie!