You won’t always love THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD
Kudos if you understood the title reference.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard from Expendables 3 director Patrick Hughes, stars Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds as exaggerated versions of themselves. But for the sake of this review, Jackson is a jailed hitman named Darius Kincaid with dirt on an evil dictator named Vladislav Dukhovich, played by Gary Oldman. Dukhovich has had all witness’s against him assassinated and Kincaid is all that remains. Reynolds, who plays Michael Bryce, is the bodyguard tasked with getting Kincaid to trial in one piece. The two have some history and a complete opposite method of conducting business. Kincaid is sloppy but he’s got heart, especially for his jailed other half, played by a surprisingly hilarious Salma Hayek. Bryce is much cleaner, much more subtle, but he’s seen better days and his relationship is in the dumps.
The bulk of the film is entirely predictable with the early stages of this fight-for-your-survival-buddy-road-trip comedy pitting equally funny actors spitting explicative-filled insults at one another, criticizing each other’s style and life decisions, and generally kicking bad guy ass. But as they continue to work together, they grow fond enough to risk their own lives for each other. It’s certainly nothing original, but Jackson and Reynolds, and their trademark personas, make for an entertaining sit.
Gary Oldman is probably the only actor actually playing a part, and perhaps even overplaying his hand. Dukhovich has a Russian accent so thick you’re left scratching your head and replaying his dialogue in your head. He’s incredibly resourceful for a man in Interpol’s custody, but the entire character seems out of place. Those resources do setup some incredibly filmed action sequences though, especially one inside a hardware store where Reynolds must uses every tool in his reach to dispatch the bad guy and a motorcycle/boat chase reminiscent of the great Bond chases.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard suffers from a misplaced villain and an absurd amount of predictability, but the action is solid and laugh-out-loud funny. It’s satisfying enough to earn a recommendation.