Dan's Review: "The Hitman's Bodyguard" forces the buddy film dynamic
Aug 18, 2017 08:14PM
● By Dan Metcalf
Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds in The Hitman's Bodyguard - © 2017 Summit Entertainment.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard (Summit/Lionsgate)
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout.
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Élodie Yung, Salma Hayek, Joaquim de Almeida, Kirsty Mitchell, Richard E. Grant, Sam Hazeldine.
Written by Tom O'Connor.
Directed by Patrick Hughes.
Don’t’ you hate it when a movie trailer gives away too much? By the time you’ve seen the teaser (often multiple times), you’ve seen all the best bits, and you can pretty much figure out the movie’s ending. So, judging by the trailer for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, you can deduce that it’s a “buddy” action comedy involving an odd couple that hate each other at first, but get thrown into a life-or-death situation where they’ll have to learn to work together to survive and end up respecting each other by the end credits. That pretty much nails it.
Ryan Reynolds plays Michael Bryce, an bodyguard living the high life in London, protecting high-end clients until one of them is taken out under his watch. Down on his luck, Michael loses his girlfriend Amelia (Élodie Yung), who is also an Interpol agent, and is forced to take on less glamorous clientele. Two years later, Amelia is assigned to transfer Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) a notorious hit man with hundreds of kills on his resume to testify in an international trial against Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), the former president of Belarus, accused of awful war crimes. Kincaid is imprisoned after being tricked into rushing to see his injured wife Sonia (Salma Hayek), who was really in jail all along. When Amelia’s detail is decimated by Dukhovich’s operatives, she hides Kincaid in a safe house and calls on her old boyfriend Michael to protect him, since she knows there’s a mole inside Interpol. Michael (who is actually a rival of Kincaid) shows up and reluctantly agrees to get him to The Hague. The two men survive multiple attacks and are just barely able to keep from killing each other until a final confrontation in the Netherlands.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard isn’t a very clever story, relying heavily on chemistry between Reynolds and Jackson. The predictable outcome is a flimsy backdrop to showcase the contrived odd couple dynamic that works on some levels, but feels a little forced otherwise. There are a few humorous moments, but you feel obligated to laugh rather than having an organic experience. Some of those laughs come from a plethora of foul language and endless violence, appealing to the basest levels of humor.
So, if you’ve seen The Hitman’s Bodyguard trailer and enjoyed it, you might enjoy the movie. If you didn’t like the trailer, you might take a pass on the theater experience.
The Hitman's Bodyguard Trailer