Watch the first 'Hitman: Agent 47' trailer (and its bizarre marketing companion)
For an elite assassin, Agent 47 sure doesn’t do subtlety.
Fox has debuted the first trailer for Hitman: Agent 47, a film adaptation of the popular stealth video game series, and the second attempt to bring the franchise to the big screen after 2007’s Hitman with Timothy Olyphant.
This version stars Rupert Friend as the titular Agent 47, a killer who’s been genetically engineered to be an unparalleled killing machine. The film also stars Zachary Quinto and Hannah Ware.
The game series is known for its stealth gameplay, which provides a much more rewarding experience if players move Agent 47 through the shadows of each mission, creating as little mayhem as possible.
In the trailer for the new film, however, it looks like 47 skipped out on that day of assassin school.
The trailer certainly shows off some stylish action, but so much of it echoes if not directly references a number of famous action moments. 47 bends backwards at one point not unlike Neo in The Matrix, and his interrogation scene feels like just a slight adjustment of one of Rorschach’s most famous lines from Watchmen. Also flying a helicopter into a building just doesn’t seem like the best plan of attack.
What’s more disconcerting is the promotional video that Fox also released Wednesday alongside the trailer. The video depicts various YouTube personalities being murdered by a faceless Agent. The problem is, it doesn’t really play the kills for laughs—even darkly comedic ones (which would be an odd choice anyway considering Hitman isn’t a comedy). Rather, it comes across as a sequence of murders played in a bizarrely straightforward fashion.
The senseless violence without much of a purpose feels like it exists simply to be shocking, but it just appears callous and unnecessary. The Hitman game franchise is no stranger to odd promotional gimmicks—like a trailer that featured murderous stripper nuns—and it doesn’t look like the film’s campaign has learned from the mistakes of the series’ past just yet.