THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD (quick) review

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Deadpool and Nick Fury teamed up while hating each other. Sounds like a fun ride to me. Always down for an action comedy and with these two men at the helm, I can’t think of a more exciting spectacle.

Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Ryan Reynolds (LIFE [2017], DEADPOOL [2016], DICK [1999], and upcoming films DEADPOOL 2 [2018] and X-FORCE, no due date announced) and Samuel L. Jackson (KONG: SKULL ISLAND [2017], THE LEGEND OF TARZAN [2016], GOODFELLAS [1990], and upcoming films INCREDIBLES II [2018] and CAPTAIN MARVEL [2019]). In support, we have Gary Oldman (THE SPACE BETWEEN US [2017], CRIMINAL [2016], BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA [1992], and the upcoming DARKEST HOUR [2017]), Salma Hayek (HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER [2017], SAUSAGE PARTY [2016], and FROM DUSK TILL DAWN [1996]), and Elodie Yung (GODS OF EGYPT [2016], G.I. JOE: RETALIATION [2013], TV show DAREDEVIL [2015 – ongoing], and upcoming TV show THE DEFENDERS [2017] and video game CALL OF DUTY: WWII [2017]).

Now for the crew. Directing, we have Patrick Hughes, known for THE EXPENDABLES 3 (2014). Penning the screenplay, we have Tom O’Connor, known for FIRE WITH FIRE (2012). Composing the score, we have Atli Örvarsson, known for THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN (2016), SEASON OF THE WITCH (2011), and VANTAGE POINT (2008). Finally, the cinematographer is Jules O’Loughlin, THE DUEL (2016), KRAMPUS (2015), and WISH YOU WERE HERE (2012).

Overall, yeah, I’m pretty excited for this flick. Maybe it won’t be good, but entertainment seems to be what this movie is going for, not poetry, so what’s wrong with that?

This is my honest opinion of: THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD

(SUMMARY)

Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) was once one of the best bodyguards. But two years ago, a client of his was murdered and now his clients are… less than important. Meanwhile, violent Russian President Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) is on trial for his alleged crimes, but his sentence is stalled due to a lack of evidence. Only one man can bring him down: the notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), who has agreed to a deal that will set his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) free from incarceration while he testifies against Dukhovich. Unfortunately, interpol has agents working for Dukhovich who try to kill Kincaid. They attack and only Kincaid and Agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) survive, who happens to be Michael’s former lover, whom he blames for compromising his client two years ago. She calls him to protect Kincaid and bring him to the courthouse, and in exchange, she’ll get Michael better clients.

(QUICK REVIEW)

It’s not bad. It’s neither DEADPOOL or AVENGERS, but it’s a satisfactory action comedy.

The positives. The actors. Holy shit, they make this movie work so well. All of the bantering is where the comedy works the best. Reynolds and Jackson, Reynolds and Yung, Jackson and Hayek, all of their interactions are hilarious and carry this movie so well. Reynolds and Jackson are obviously genius in how much shit they give each other, and it makes for some great comedy.

But never mind the men, their respective ladies are really funny too. Hayek as Sonia, Darius’ wife, is so hilariously brutal. There’s this amazing running gag with her in prison that every time her scene ends, it cuts to her cellmate, whom Sonia has somehow forced into facing the corner like a bad kindergarten student, and has to grant her permission to leave the corner. It’s so delightfully sadistic that I wouldn’t mind a spin-off film of this bitch. And Yung… okay, she’s not given any particularly funny lines, but that’s the script’s fault obviously. But to make up for it, she has some funny reactions. I had no idea the woman had it in her. For someone who plays a ruthless, blood-thirsty assassin in DAREDEVIL, she can get quite the chuckle out of me. Please, Hollywood, put Yung in more comedies! She’s not half bad.

But for all the praise I can throw about how everyone’s chemistry is great, this movie is beyond flawed. When the camera isn’t focusing on Reynolds and Jackson, it’s on Oldman and Joaquim de Almeida as the villains, and because these characters get a healthy amount of screentime, the result is criminally boring. Oldman as a Russian villain, how do you make that boring?! You know how? By making him do nothing. He’s got a great intro with him murdering a man’s wife and kid in front of him, but from that point on, it’s Oldman’s easiest paycheck with him just sitting in a chair and talking in a Russian accent… sometimes. These scenes are so remarkably uninteresting that they might as well just be pointless padding until you the story gets back to Reynolds and Jackson. If the villains were as maniacally enjoyable and shared a similar chemistry with each other, then this movie could have had something to elevate itself, but no. If the movie shows anything other than the bickering of the two leads, then the aforementioned scenes are utterly pointless.

There aren’t many surprises, so the movie rests squarely on whether or not you enjoy the chemistry between Reynolds and Jackson. Since I do, the movie is serviceable. If you’re a fan of the cast, then I recommend it. Just don’t keep your expectations too high or you’ll run the risk of disappointment. If you want to see it in theaters, shoot for a matinee screening.

My honest rating for THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD: a strong 3/5

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