Sunday 23 August 2015

Assassin assessed: Should MDA classify Hitman: Agent SG50 as a political film?

So you thought that since National Day is over, we’re done with SG50.

You’re wronger than the guy who picked a fight at a McDonald’s in Jurong (and lost badly).

And I’m not talking about the SG50 commemorative set of currency notes launched last week.

By the way, there’s an error in the SG50 set — Mr Lee Kuan Yew is not on all the notes, only the $50 bill.

Oh, and there’s also a misspelling in the packaging, for which the Monetary Authority of Singapore has apologised.

Next time I go to the bank, I’m going to tell the teller, “Hey, my $100 note got typo. It says $10.”

Anyway, so far, in the first eight months of this SG50 year, we’ve had:

The problem with all these projects, apart from them being written and directed by foreigners or produced by a former MediaCorp executive who gave us Liang Po Po The Movie, is that they are about Singapore in the past.

Wouldn’t you like to see something that is about Singapore in the 21st century at least?

And that was why I bought a ticket to see the movie, Hitman: Agent 47, on Friday.

It might as well be called Hitman: Agent SG50.

Shot partly in Singapore last year, the movie stars Rupert Friend and Zachary Quinto.

Actually, because of these two actors, Hitman: Agent 47 could also be called Hitman: Clash Of The Eyebrows.

At first, I was reluctant to see the movie because I haven’t seen the first Hitman movie starring Timothy Olyphant, or played any of the video games the movies are based on.

It would be like watching The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 without watching The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 or any of the Hunger Games movies, or having read the books.

Or watching 1965 without watching 1964 or 1963.

Or watching The LKY Musical without watching The KJX Musical.

(I’ll give you a moment to figure out that last joke. I’ll still be here when you do.)

But I went to see Hitman: Agent 47 anyway because, you know, SG50.

Ironically, the first shot of Singapore in the movie is of a CGI building that is not actually in Singapore. I only know it’s supposed to be Singapore because it says so in the subtitle.

But the most SG50 scene in the movie is not even set in Singapore but in Berlin.

In the scene, Quinto and the girl are trying to figure out where a missing man is.

The man is 72, has money and is most likely to be somewhere warm.

He has cancer. So he also has to be in a place with the medical facilities to treat his cancer.

He speaks English, Russian, Mandarin and Tamil.

Wait, what? Why specifically Tamil? Why not Hindi? Why would an angmoh person speak Tamil?

Someone actually asks this in the movie. The answer is the man was married to a woman from Sri Lanka. Whatevs.

The final clue is that the missing man is an expert on orchids.

I wanted to shout at the screen, “He’s in Singapore, you idiots!”

They might as well say he likes this strange fruit called a durian and has a taste for chicken rice and chilli crab.

But everyone eventually ends up on our island, resulting in plenty of car chases and gunfights, which don’t reflect very well on the enforcement of our nation’s traffic safety and anti-gun laws.

I’m surprised the Media Development Authority hasn’t classified Hitman: Agent 47 as a political film because apart from its politically charged theme about being your own person despite what you’re programmed to be, the movie also includes a cameo by a former local politician.

Ex-Nominated Member of Parliament and actress Janice Koh appears in a lift scene for maybe half a second.

At least she’s not washing laundry or eating orh luak.

Maybe she does in the video game.

SG50 forever!

- Published in The New Paper, 23 August 2015

A photo posted by Sylvia Lim (@sylvialim65) on