Film Reviews


Fresh from creating domestic cyber-anarchy in this summer's Live Free or Die Hard, Timothy Olyphant goes global as top-flight international assassin Agent 47 in producer Luc Besson and director Xavier Gens's bargain-basement adaptation of the titular videogame. Cut loose by his Orwellian parent organization (known only as "the organization") following a supposedly botched hit on the Russian president, 47 (who, despite his job's evident needs for anonymity and stealth, sports an enormous barcode tattoo on the back of his bald head) hightails it across the former USSR in search of his betrayers while offering reluctant protection to a tempestuous prostitute (Olga Kurylenko) perplexed by the assassin's paralyzing fear of intimacy. ("You don't want to fuck me and you don't want to kill me. I've never felt so much indifference in my life," she huffs.) Olyphant, who made for the least menacing Die Hard baddie on record, here furrows his brow and snarls his lines in an unconvincing bid to seem tough. And while Gens can splatter gore with the best of them — early in the film, a human body packed with C4 goes off in graphic detail — he fails to stage so much as a single rousing action scene, even when he has four double-fisted swordsmen facing off inside an abandoned subway car. Game over. The audience loses.

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Scott Foundas