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The Hitman Agency Review

June 4, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
The Hitman Agency
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The Hitman Agency Review  

The Hitman Agency Review

Erik Hansen– Joseph Kyler
Everett Ray Aponte– Lucas Kane
Thomas Linz– Ronald Smith
Dominik Starck– Young Joseph Kyler
Carolina Rath– Nina
Kathrin Hohne– Jane Adler
Wolfgang Riehm– Agency Director Clemens
Don “The Dragon” Wilson– The Dragon

Directed by Dominik Starck
Screenplay by Dominik Starck

Runtime– 87 minutes

Watch it here


The Hitman Agency, written and directed by Dominik Starck, is a mega low budget sort of action thriller that has its heart in the right place. It can’t quite pull off the story it wants to pull off, but it does feature a good cast and an intriguing premise.

The movie stars Erik Hansen as Joseph Kyler, an ex-elite assassin who used to work for a worldwide killer outfit called The Hitman Agency. One day, Kyler is kidnapped and assaulted by Lucas Kane (Everett Ray Aponte), a current Hitman Agency assassin. Kane, under orders from agency leader Ronald Smith (Thomas Linz), is to retrieve a special file that Smith believes Kyler has in his possession, a file that could expose the agency and turn the elite assassin world on its ear. Despite being beaten and tortured, Kyler insists that he doesn’t have this alleged special file and simply wants to live his new, non-assassin life in peace. Kyler won’t be able to, though, as Kane “knows” that Kyler has to be lying. It’s what guys like Kyler do. And, heck, Kane would probably do the same thing if he was in Kyler’s position.

See, Kane respects Kyler’s legend and position in the elite assassin world. He doesn’t want to beat and torture and, probably, eventually kill Kyler. But Kane has his orders and his own code of ethics. Kane will complete his job. Now, instead of continuing torturing Kyler, Kane decides to “good cop” Kyler into giving up the file. It seems like a worthwhile strategy, at least at first. Kyler does open up a bit. He doesn’t open up about what Kane wants to hear, though. Instead, Kyler starts talking about his past.

The scene then shifts to a flashback where we see how a young Kyler (Starck) was recruited into the agency. At first, we find out that Kyler became an assassin out of a sense of revenge, as the love of his life, Emily, a woman he met in a bar in Germany. After she’s killed by nefarious forces, Kyler is brought into the fold by Nina (Carolina Rath) and slowly transformed into a highly trained killer. As the story goes on, though, we find out that everything is not as it seems. The Hitman Agency isn’t the benevolent entity it claims to be.

The movie opens with a nifty action sequence where we see Kane taking out a notorious criminal and his henchmen at the criminal’s castle mansion somewhere in Europe. A second assassin also shows up at the same job, but Kane doesn’t recognize him. Once the opening sequence is over and Kyler shows up, the movie doesn’t really do anything with this plot. Yes, there’s some kind of vote coming up within the Agency and there’s all sorts of intrigue between Smith and Jane Adler (Kathrin Hohne) about who is going to be the next agency leader, but that isn’t all that interesting. It could have been interesting had the movie focused on it instead of the Kyler/Kane back and forth. Because, really, who are these Hitman Agency people? We see how they got Kyler involved. What about everyone else?

The Kyler/Kane interrogation and subsequent flashbacks to young Kyler take up a majority of the movie. Some of this stuff is interesting, but ultimately all of it just goes on forever. After the slam bang opening you’ll end up wondering why there isn’t more action. The main characters seem to all be able bodied and Starck knows how to stage worthwhile action and fight scenes on a meager budget, so why isn’t there more of that kind of thing? What’s with all of the talking?

The main performances are all generally interesting. Erik Hansen gives the older Joseph Kyler an innate world weariness that makes him perpetually watchable. He seems like a broken man, a guy who has been through so much nastiness that he’s just done with it all. He’d love to just fish and watch the world go by. And yet you just know that he can turn on the killer inside him at a moment’s notice.

Everett Ray Aponte is vicious as assassin Lucas Kane. He’s a true believer in the agency and respects Kyler quite a bit, yet he has no problem taking the old man out in order to fulfill a job. He’s exactly the kind of guy you don’t want coming after you. I’m not a fan of the way his character plays out, but right up until the end Kane is a decent enough villain. Aponte does have some chemistry with Hansen, which makes their antagonistic relationship interesting enough to watch. I do wish, though, Aponte had more action screen time. The movie would have benefitted from it tremendously.

Both Dominik Starck and Carolina Rath do a good job in the Kyler flashbacks. Starck makes the young Kyler tough but sort of naïve, but then when he loses Emily and he wants revenge he becomes a ball of violence. And Rath’s Nina does a fine job facilitating that revenge. Why the heck wasn’t the movie all about that?

Thomas Linz brings on the sleaze as Ronald Smith, a Hitman Agency official who isn’t exactly on the up and up. His back and forth with Katherine Hohne’s Jane Alder is interesting and could have made its own movie. Again, who the heck are these Hitman Agency people? How did they become the Hitman Agency?

And then there’s Don “The Dragon” Wilson, who shows up briefly in the middle of the movie as an actor going over his lines in a hotel room in Japan. Wilson’s character, The Dragon, is attacked by a Hitman Agency assassin, but because he’s Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Don “The Dragon” Wilson takes out the assassin quickly. The Dragon also complains to his security leader that he needs better security. The Dragon also shows up at the very end of the movie, during the end credits. Will he show up in a sequel? The ending suggests it’s a possibility. And that would be pretty cool. He’s barely in it, but, truthfully, the movie comes to life when The Dragon shows up.

The Hitman Agency is a great idea and a movie with a lot of heart. It wants to be so much more than it is, and I can appreciate the effort. I liked quite a bit of it. The movie, in an overall sense, though, isn’t as successful as it should be. It should be, it needs to be, more. What’s there now is okay, watchable, and interesting. But, again, it should be and needs to be more. Still worth seeing.

See The Hitman Agency. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: About 10.

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: A douchebag criminal swimming with four hot babes in bikinis, multiple neck snaps, a three-on-one martial arts brawl, swimming, two head shots, fishing, metal pipe to the back of the head, mild chair bondage, face punching, a board meeting, urination, beatings, an abdomen scar, walking on train tracks, head smashing, off screen sex, after sex pillow talk, a scumbag drug dealer, more head shots, finger breaking, inter-agency bullshit, a martial arts knife fight with a double stabbing, more neck breaking, sword hooey, crossbow arrow to the chest, off screen throat slitting, attempted foot injection, a big double cross, strangulation, an axe, a double cross, even more head shots, and the promise of a sequel.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: A quote from Ambrose Bierce, a guy with a Mohawk, attempted discussion of The Hitman Agency’s rules and regulations, Germany in 1981, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Don “The Dragon” Wilson wearing a Traditionz Entertainment T-shirt, truth serum, attempted foot injection, and the promise of a sequel.

Best lines: “Whatever they pay you, I double,” “Done. But there was some collateral damage,” “Gotta love Europe. Everyone’s got a basement,” “What do you want from me? I’m just an old hippie,” “Something strange is going on,” “Permission to speak freely? You’re the one with your dick in your hand,” “Paper never lies,” “Do you sometimes think about the future? Not right now,” “Six past one. Not the right time for the future,” “You’re such a hippie,” “So Germany, then? Interesting,” “If it makes you feel any better, it took me a while to notice you,” “I see you read my profile,” “Yakuza? Doesn’t change anything. Their worst nightmare is about to come true,” “You’re not from room service. And I’m not looking for an autograph,” “I’m not just an actor,” “You’re so fucking clever,” “I should have known,” “Why couldn’t you just stay dead?,” “You know, Smith, I may be an old lion, but it’s dumb to send a young cub into my cage,” “Just a little prick,” “Don’t you want to hear the rest of the story,” “You’re one of us?,” “Was the sex that good/?,” “Well played. Now the game is over,” “What… the fuck?,” and “So it’s true? The Hitman Agency exists?”

The final score: review Good
The 411
The Hitman Agency is a mega low budget action thriller that wants to be better than it is. It has a lot of heart and some very capable people involved. It’s just too talky and focused on the wrong kind of story. It’s still worth seeing, though. If there’s ever a sequel, maybe Don “The Dragon” Wilson will play a bigger part in it. That would rock.