PLOT: Bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is stripped of his triple-A rating and unlicensed after taking a bullet for his mortal nemesis, Darius Kinkaid (Samuel L. Jackson), the world’s most famed assassin. On sabbatical, Michael’s vacation in Capri is cut short when Kinkaid’s wife, Sonia (Salma Hayek), arrives, requesting Michael’s assistance in rescuing her husband, who has been kidnapped.
REVIEW: First thing first, while I wasn’t a huge fan of The Hitman’s Bodyguard, there were aspects of it that I enjoyed. I mostly like Ryan Reynolds’ performance as the meticulous Bryce and his relationship with Samuel L Jackson’s Darius Kinkaid. The film also included a super-villain, played by Gary Oldman, as well as some entertaining action sequences directed by Patrick Hughes, who previously helmed The Expendables 3.
While that film was primarily a straight-up action film with heavy doses of comedy, the genres have been switched here in a similar fashion to how Lionsgate did with Red 2. It’s now a full-fledged goofy comedy, with no stakes and no drama. Everything and I means everything, is staged for laughs, and it fails miserably. Reynolds goes above and beyond to sell the new comic tone, but the film is a cartoon from beginning to end. For example, there’s running humor in which Reynold is repeatedly hit by cars, with CGI portraying him being pushed around before picking himself up and brushing himself off. It’s as if they tried to make him Deadpool or Free Guy but didn’t bother with the conceit that makes those movies tolerable. Of course, there’s no need for a major action movie, but it does push it.
The basic premise is that Bryce and Kinkaid are brought together by Darius’ wife Sonia, and all three are blackmailed by a CIA officer – played by a ridiculously underutilised Frank Grillo – to take down a Greek magnate – played by noted Greek thespian Antonio Banderas – who wants to destroy Europe in order to rebuild Greece’s economy. It’s ridiculous, but everyone involved gives it their all, with Banderas mugging with the best of them, yet seeing him and Salma Hayek together makes you want for another Desperado rather than…whatever this is.
Reynolds and Jackson still have good chemistry and Hayek is game, but the action is barely passable. Sure, there’s a lot of carnage and they milk the R-rating for gory headshots. However, twenty four hours after seeing it I was barely able to recall any cool action moments, except for a fight that’s noteworthy because it involves eighty-four-year-old Morgan Freeman being a credible badass. He has a top-secret part that’s initially quite clever but turns out to be two-dimensional, a shame as some stakes and a tiny bit of drama might have actually come out of his role.
It is also foolish that Frank Grillo, who becomes into a great action star, never gets involved, playing exhibition man with him. What a waste! Jackson also looks a bit less prominent this time, relying much on him claiming that mother fucker had an arc and the last killer with a baddie Oldman, who was credited here for some reason, even though he only appeared on one second of the original stock video.
The Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard is a tremendous mistake, and the tanks that Reynolds, Jackson and Hayek might have been in the right position for a B-grade side franchise. Too bad, the original isn’t a horrible movie and it may have been a good action to start the summer.
Hayek is a bigger figure in the last picture than Kinkaid’s insane wife, leading third. The idea is that Darius and she are willing to form a family, yet cannot imagine – the closest thing the film must do is to play. That’s the idea I’ll give to the cinema: this idea makes a picture a truly wonderful comedy that pays off in the last scene and makes me nearly want to see another “Something Hitman or another” But that’s not totally right..