Like a lot of people, I passed on Hitman’s Bodyguard on opening weekend since it looked like an action-comedy that went straight for the low hanging fruit. My wife wanted to see it and nothing else of note came out this weekend, so we went to see it anyways. Reviews went from middle of the road to less than favorable, but people were still having fun watching it … so what did I think?
I would give it 5 “guy who singlehandedly ruined the word motherfucker”s out of 10.
FOR THE UNINITIATED
We start out seeing the world’s best and highest rated bodyguard, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) who seems to have it all. Everything goes as planned until his client gets killed. Fast forward two years and he is disheveled and working for a coked out attorney, but he still seems to have the skills.
Switch back to a few years prior and we see Belarus’s President Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) being evil and killing the family of a professor that spoke out against him. Fast foward back to current day and the professor is testifying in a trial against Dukhovich, but since there is no hard evidence so they will have to let him go. Except hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) seems to have the proof and testimony needed, which he will supply to get his wife (Selma Hayek) out of jail. Of course there is someone working for Dukhovich to make sure Kincaid doesn’t make it, so the Interpol convoy is hit. The lead agent in charge, Roussel (Elodie Yung) is the only other person left alive so she hires her ex-husband to protect Kincaid and get him to the trial. It just so happens that is Michael Bryce, who sees him as his arch-nemesis.
Of course the henchmen are on their trail the whole way, so the issue is will they make it or be killed. If they are killed will it be by … (insert record scratch sound effect here) each other?
There were quite a few good laughs and action scenes thrown into the movie as expected. The laughs are as cheap as you could expect, but hilarious nonetheless. Sam Jackson drops several dozen “motherfuckers” and Ryan Reynolds gets to play Deadpool if he went down a more moral path. They play off each other very well, but the real highlights are the action scenes near the end. Realism is thrown out the window, similarly so is Ryan Reynolds at least twice. The music matches up to the action with songs you wouldn’t expect (Black Betty and Little Queenie) but after hearing them, you wouldn’t want anything else.
As I mentioned, the entire movie goes for the low hanging fruit. It is entirely predictable from the start, so don’t expect any surprises. Also, Sam Jackson was great for his comedic parts but very unbelievable as an action star. Lastly, the movie was probably about 30 to 40 minutes too long. Put all this together and you get a very formulaic action movie that didn’t even attempt to aim higher.
Hitman’s Bodyguard will be a cable tv staple once it makes its way there. You don’t need to pay attention to most of it, can jump in almost anytime, and still get all the laughs and enjoy the action. I would say to wait until then to watch it. There is no reason to rush out unless you REALLY need a new Ryan Reynolds or Sam Jackson movie.
My recommendation is the movie you should watch instead: Die Hard with a Vengeance. You get a buddy “cop” action movie with plenty of laughs/action and Sam Jackson being Sam Jackson. Some have argued it is the best Die Hard of the franchise, and it certainly has its merits. So go check it out if you haven’t seen it or its been a while.