Review: Hitman: Agent 47

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DIR: Aleksander Bach  • WRI: Skip Woods, Michael Finch • PRO: Adrian Askarieh, Charles Gordon, Alex Young • DOP: Óttar Guðnason • ED: Nicolas De Toth • DES: Sebastian T. Krawinkel • MUS: Marco Beltrami • CAST: Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto, Ciarán Hinds

 

If the Bourne films and the Terminator films had some kind of weird progeny, Hitman: Agent 47 would very likely be the result. However, in taking plot elements but none of the visual or multi-layered inspiration from the franchises, we end up with a rather unoriginal action flick that entertains but fails to inspire.

Continuing the relatively recent trend of adapting video games for film, Hitman follows a ruthless master assassin mysteriously named 47 who is looking for the founder of the genetically-engineered agent program of which he is a product. As part of his mission, he must locate Katia van Dees, a young woman who is searching for connections to her own past as she cannot remember who she is or where she comes from. Katia learns from a member of the CIA, John Smith, that Agent 47 is out for her life, but she soon discovers that 47 may actually be the key to her past. All three soon end up on a chase that brings them across the globe.

Star of the titular role, Rupert Friend’s previous performances have included charming gentlemen in costume dramas like The Young Victoria (2009) and Pride and Prejudice (2005), though he is probably best-known for his role as Quinn, a professional assassin in Showtime series Homeland (2011- ). It was this role that led director Aleksander Bach to cast Friend, and the similarities between Quinn and Agent 47 are utilised effectively. Friend is not only a satisfying lead but an exemplary one, and stands on his own feet in what is an already saturated market of action hero actors. The character of 47 is ruthless and delightfully suave. Zachary Quinto (Spock in the Star Trek reboot) also proves to be a welcome addition to the cast in the role of John Smith while Irish actor Ciarán Hinds gives another talented performance, so that sustenance is somewhat added to the otherwise predictable and uninspired plot. While she does her best with an underwritten, clichéd role – ‘I don’t know who I am… now I do know who I am, and someone is going to pay!’ – Hannah Ware’s Katia is dull and unconvincing as an action heroine.

The sets are sleek and the booming soundtrack evokes high-octane energy. With its snazzy suits, expensive cars and blood splattering the screen, everything about this movie indicates its acute attempts to be considered ‘cool’ by its audience. To give credit where it is due, perhaps Polish director Bach simply wanted to have fun for his debut feature. After all, the film gives just what the doctor ordered – car chases, explosions, bloody assassinations, and hand-to-hand combat that is well-choreographed (which may be owed to the stunts and action crew coming from 87-11 Action Design, whose work has featured in Jurassic World, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and John Wick ). However, with this year’s action movie offerings thus far including the perfectly-paced, brilliantly self-aware John Wick as well as the blood-pumping, visually-arresting Mad Max: Fury Road, Hitman simply cannot compete with its generic predecessors. Its ending seems to promise a sequel, but we hope it will be given a miss.

Deirdre Molumby

15A (See IFCO for details)
96 minutes

Hitman: Agent 47 is released 28th August 2015

Hitman: Agent 47  – Official Website

 

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Galway Film Fleadh: Zachary Quinto delivers Actors Masterclass

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Zachary Quinto will be the subject of this year’s Actors Masterclass on Friday July 12th at the Galway Film Fleadh, which runs 9th-14th July 2013

 

The Actors Masterclass, in association with Screen Training Ireland, will be hosted by John Hubbard of Hubbard Casting and will provide an intensive interactive environment in the skills, methodology and aesthetics of film acting aimed at actors working or wanting to work more in the recorded media. Quinto will also answer questions and provide tips on dealing with all the common fears actors have regarding work in front of the camera.

 

Shortly after his appearance in the 2009 Star Trek film, Quinto revealed in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel that he lived and worked in Galway city for a time and would love to return. Since his time spent working in a café on Galway’s Abbeygate Street, the prolific actor has gone on to star in such popular TV shows as 24, Heroes and American Horror Story, as well as producing and starring in Margin Call. Now, fresh from reprising his role as Mr. Spock in Star Trek into Darkness, Quinto is preparing to make his long-anticipated return to the West of Ireland for the 25th Galway Film Fleadh. 

 

The Actors Masterclass is an actors-only event with limited places. For further information on other screenings and events with the Star Trek actor, keep an eye on www.galwayfilmfleadh.com, chat to The Galway Film Fleadh on Facebook www.facebook.com/GalwayFilmFleadh or Tweet @FilmFleadh

 

For booking information for the Actors Masterclass, contact Brónagh Keys on (091) 562200 or masterclasses@galwayfilmfleadh.com.

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Cinema Review: Margin Call

Trust Me, I'm a Banker

DIR/WRI: J.C. Chandor • PRO: Robert Ogden Barnum, Michael Benaroya, Neal Dodson, Joe Jenckes, Corey Moosa, Zachary Quinto • DOP: Frank G. DeMarco • ED: Pete Beaudreau • DES: John Paino • CAST: Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey

Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci) is one of the many laid off during a massive employee culling at an investment bank on Wall St. in 2008. On his way out, he hands a file on to Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) to look over, and it turns out that Dale was on the verge of discovering that their company, as well as the rest of Wall St. is on the verge of bankruptcy. And so begins this drama set during one 24 hours period set right at the start of the world’s current financial crisis.

The all-star cast (Tucci, Quinto, Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Simon Baker, Penn Badgley) makes it easy to keep tabs on who’s who, and while the younger actors can’t quite keep up with the more established actors, a lot of the bigger names bring their A-game, in particular Spacey being the best he’s been in quite some time.

Writer/director J.C. Chandor keeps things ticking along with the pace of an against-the-clock thriller, and while the dialogue can at times be ever so slightly clunky, he does make some interesting insights, such as the general belief that the higher up the corporate ladder you go, the nicer the suits, the more cutthroat you are, and the less you seem to actually know about your own company.

While it doesn’t quite reach the giddy highs of Glengarry Glen Ross or All The President’s Men, it is the kind of smart and well-acted grown up film you see less and less of these days, and exactly the kind of film Wall Street 2 should have been.

Rory Cashin

Rated 15A (see IFCO website for details)
Margin Call is released on 13th January 201

Margin Call – Official Website

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