The Hitman’s Bodyguard

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard was one of the films that I was looking forward to as I really enjoyed the trailers that they showed for it.  Unfortunately, the film itself was more of a let down than anything else.

In order to free his wife, notable assassin Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) agreed to testify against General Dukhovich (Gary Oldman).  In order to get him to The Hague, Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) contacted her old flame, bodyguard extraordinaire Michael Bryce, whose reputation had slipped after one of his clients had died, to help get Kincaid to the trial.

The film is basically your typical buddy movie with two characters who hated one another and who begrudgingly learn to respect each other as the movie progresses.  The problem with this is that the movie is painfully predictable.  In fact, five minutes into the movie, you can see what was going to happen.  There were at least two distinct moments in the film where I said to myself, “oh, so this will happen at the end” and both times I called it exactly.

Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds are both remarkably charismatic here but neither of them are actually playing a character.  Truthfully, both are playing the versions of themselves that they show the public.  We’ve seen these versions in multiple movies over the years.  We have also seen both of them better.  Here Jackson and Reynolds and their banter is one of the strongest parts of this movie.  It could still be so much better.

The strongest part of the film, however, was absolutely the scene stealing performance of Salma Hayek, playing Kincaid’s wife, Sonia.  She was a hoot, playing completely against type and bringing to life the most fascinating character in the film.  Now, I don’t think that I would want more from her, because I can see Sonia becoming too annoying if we had more of her, but the part that we got was tremendous.

The action was fine, well shot, but it was also hard to believe.  There were a lot of bullets flying around without there being too many consequences.  That can be some dumb fun if you are willing to suspend the disbelief.

The story is told through flashback, but the scenes given to us in flashback seem to be told from different movies and completely different tones.  In fact, the inconsistent tone was a major issue with The Hitman’s Bodyguard.  It felt like a comedy at times, but the flashbacks felt like it was a satire.  There was the use of the romantic music to highlight the couples on the canvas, but there was also a villain in Gary Oldman who is shown killing a kid (albeit off screen).  The tone varied so badly that you were never quite sure how you were supposed to react.

The dialogue on the whole was pretty lame and there was a lot of it used as expository.   There were some good moments of laughter, but most of the humor was hit-or-miss.  Since Jackson and Reynolds are naturally funny people, you are going to get a lot of humor from them just being themselves.

In the end, The Hitman’s Bodyguard was not a good movie, but it is one that is watchable.  It is a forgettable film that could be considered disposable.  It might not be the worst film to watch but there is little reason to want to do it.  Reynolds and Jackson are fun at times, but you could make a case that they both are better than what we get here.  The tone is all over the place and the humor is off.  I was really excited for this one, but unfortunately, that was too much to hope for.

2.5 stars

 

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