Title – The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)
Director – Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3)
Cast – Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Gary Oldman, Elodie Yung, Richard E. Grant
Plot – Bodyguard for hire Michael Bryce (Reynolds) finds himself protecting world renowned hitman Darius Kincaid (Jackson) as the mismatched pair must fight their way through Europe so Darius can testify in a case against evil Russian dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Oldman).
“Have a seat; it’s been a long day. A really long day”
Review by Eddie on 1/09/2017
At a time in its early infancy, The Hitman’s Bodyguard was going to be a serious affair, but with Australian director Patrick Hughes and stars Ryan “playing the same role yet again” Reynolds and Samuel L. “swearing like a trooper” Jackson on board, Bodyguard has become a moulding of action and comedy, as the mismatched duo of Reynolds and Jackson fight their way through Europe to get to court and send Gary Oldman’s OTT Russian baddie Vladislav Dukhovich to jail for his evil deeds.
Bodyguard is a loud, brash and seriously over-long movie but after graduating from his impressive Australian film debut Red Hill to the utterly forgettable Expendables 3, Hughes enlivens Bodyguard with some unexpectedly awesome action and energy and any doubts you may’ve thought you’d have at the start of the film concerning the believability of a near 70 years old Samuel L. Jackson unleashing a can of sassy fury onto a plethora of baddies, will quickly dissipate once the action kicks in, even if the films generic goons must’ve received a crash course in shooting firearms from the Stormtroopers themselves, so bad is their marksmanship.
It’s an unexpected win for the film to become such a competent action hybrid but it’s the story’s long in the tooth nature and tonal unevenness that hurts the films progress as it dwells far too long on certain scenes and tries to get serious when it should’ve been focussing on the undeniable chemistry between Reynolds protection specialist Michael Bryce and Jackson’s deadly hitman Darius Kincaid, who both bring some wickedly devious charms to roles they could’ve easily played in their sleep, yet light up the screen together when their allowed to bounce off each other.
It must be the dream pairing of some fanboys to see Deadpool and Mace Windu team up and while Reynolds needs to start branching out from his quick-talking and whip-smart Wade Wilson caricature pretty quickly, you can’t deny he does this role well and we all know Jackson can play cool and sweary better than the rest of them.
The film is at its simplistic best when these two get to share the screen like a couple of modern aged Grumpy Old Men (who just so happen to have a license to kill) and while the action is often great, more comedic focus for the film could’ve really elevated Bodyguard to a potentially classic comical status, especially with the addition a scene-stealing Salma Hayek as Darius’s feisty and imprisoned wife Sonia, whose on brilliant form whenever she’s given screen time.
Final Say –
Sometimes not knowing what it exactly is or not focussing on what it’s doing best, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a fun yet bumpy ride that should’ve shaved a solid 30 minutes from its runtime and done more to maximise the chemistry of its two leads, but with some above average action and some genuine laughs to be had, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is one of the years more tolerable guilty pleasures.
2 ½ scared cellmates out of 5