Tremendous on-screen chemistry between the two male leads elevates The Hitman’s Bodyguard paint by numbers narrative into a great date night film.
The narrative centers around a former A-Level bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) and a transport who happens to be a world famous assassin (Samuel L. Jackson). Elodie Young plays an Interpol agent who turns to Reynolds character in her hour of a need to help take Jackson’s character to testify against a dictator (Gary Oldman) who is on trial for human rights atrocities.
The chemistry between Jackson and Reynolds is off the charts. While this is by no means an original concept for a film, that doesn’t detract from how much fun you’ll have watching it. Both settle into their respective comfort zones. Jackson being the aggressor dropping F bombs and Reynolds being slightly less aggressive but equally as vulgar.
Salma Hayek had to have enjoyed the hell out of being in this picture. She plays Jackson’s wife and has this talent for breaking bottles and slicing bad guys throats. The role is a departure from what we are accustomed to seeing her play. While Jackson and Reynolds are certainly blue in this film, Hayek is two times worse.
The dichotomy between the two male hitmen was interesting. Jackson’s character seems to have no problems putting a bullet in someone while Reynolds character goes out of his way to avoid killing anyone. Writer Tom O’Connor appears to be giving the impression that each lead has a role to play (one is the good guy and one is the bad guy). However, each character has good intentions but has been motivated to go about it a different way. Reynolds’s character was working towards making a great impression with Interpol while Jackson’s character is motivated by the money he makes from each hit.
Director Mark Hughes doesn’t seek to reinvent the wheel and delivered a 118-minute romp that harkens back to some of the better action films from the 90’s. No thinking is required to watch this release.
Hughes also incorporated practical stunts in many of the films action sequences giving this film the same type of feel as one of his previous projects, Expendables 3.
What Didn’t Work
The cinematography was below-average at best. Jules O’Loughlin relied on shots that panned the screen rather than focusing on the action.
Gary Oldman wasn’t the best choice to play the dictator in the film. His accent was a mixture of northern England and faux European.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is the cinematic equivalent of Taco Bell. No one actively seeks out making a run for the border, but it’s a means to an end. Don’t go expecting a high-brow comedy, but certainly be prepared to laugh your ass off. Critics often like to pick apart these type of releases but these films serve a purpose. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a perfect date night movie or for anyone looking to have a great time at the theater.