Movie Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

Directed by Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3), The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a 2017 action/comedy starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. Reynolds is Michael Bryce, a seasoned, but down-on-his-luck protection agent tasked with protecting Darius Kincaid (Jackson), one of the most infamous hitmen on the planet. Bryce must work alongside Interpol agent – and ex-girlfriend – Amelia Roussel (Élodie Yung) in order for Kincaid to survive to testify against the corrupt Belarus President Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman).

+ the chemistry between Reynolds and Jackson, (and Reynolds and Yung) is just fantastic. Reynolds’ Bryce is a Deadpool-like confident, borderline arrogant smartass, and Jackson is the happy-go-lucky but incredibly dangerous foil, and the two bounce off each other perfectly. The banter between former lovers Bryce and Yung’s Roussel is also charming, and at times laugh out loud funny
+ Gary Oldman is, as always, a fantastic villain, here as the corrupt and all-around jerk Belarus President Vladislav Dukhovich. His screen time is mostly limited to sneering monologues from a courtroom stand, but damn if he doesn’t make the most of it
+ the action is frantic and wild, with scenes at times playing out like a video game escort mission. Explosions, gunfights and car chases (or other vehicle chases, nudge nudge) are the centerpieces around which all the comedy happens. Some of the jokes will be easy to spot from a mile away, but they are usually funny enough to at least warrant a chuckle

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Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) doesn’t really need Bryce’s (Ryan Reynolds) protection… but that’s the point.

– in general, the film takes many cues from others, including The Losers (the stylised, video-game like action), Smokin’ Aces (the protection plot), Air Force One (the political aspect, and Gary Oldman being a foreign antagonist) and Snakes on a Plane (the film not taking itself too seriously, and Sam Jackson dropping ‘motherfuckers’ like no one’s business). Unfortunately, this means it never really feels like it’s own film

> I can entirely understand if you are getting sick of Ryan Reynolds as this, hot-but-goofy, always talking, never-takes-anything-seriously-manchild by now, because it almost happened to me… but not quite.
> Comic book movies are so ingrained into pop culture nowadays, that this movie can easily be described as “Deadpool has to protect Nick Fury, on behalf of Elektra, so Fury can testify against Commissioner Gordon.”

Should you see this film: I enjoyed this. There was nothing groundbreaking in the story or action, but the fantastic performances between Reynolds and Jackson made it worth a watch at least once.

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