- Directed by Patrick Hughes
- August 18, 2017
After the transport of a witness to the Hague goes bad, an Interpol agent gets the help of her ex who is a washed-up bodyguard seeking to get back his former glory.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard to me is a throwback to the mismatched buddy action comedies of the 80s and I loved those. Much of the film’s humor relies on the opposing personalities/attitudes of the two main characters much like it did in such film as 48 hrs or Lethal Weapon.
Samuel L. Jackson stars as Darius Kincaid who is the hitman of the title. Darius is one of the world’s most notorious hitmen with a long list of kills. Cooler than cool, Darius is charming and lethal and despite his line of work has a distinct moral code.
Darius is married to an equally violent woman named Sonia (Salma Hayek) whom he met and fell in love with when he saw her beat the crap out of some patrons in a bar in Honduras. She has quite a few screws loose. Her character is crafted as a stereotypical fiery Latina and while entertaining, it is a bit of a waste for an actress of Hayek’s character.
Ryan Reynolds is former triple A rated executive protection agent Michael Bryce who is the bodyguard of the title. Bryce spent time in the CIA and parlayed that into a rather successful business until one day he is protecting an Asian arms dealer that ends up getting shot just when he should be the safest. Bryce is a charming asshole that by the end of the film learns a little something. Seriously, Ryan Reynolds’s characters are like that more often than not in his films.
Interpol Agent Amelia Roussel (Élodie Yung) is the individual that ropes Bryce into escorting Darius as well as being his ex. This is the person that Reynolds grows as a character for. Her character is just a pissed off ex-girlfriend as being the one confirmable good egg in Interpol and does not get developed much beyond that.
Why does Darius need to get to the Hague and testify you may ask? As part of a deal to help his wife who is in a Dutch prison he must testify against Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) who is the dictatorial President of Belarus currently on trial for his crimes. In an action comedy, Oldman’s character is like a splash of cold water in the middle of the night. He was all maniacal and just truly evil. He is the one character that does nothing mildly humorous.
The need to get Darius to the Hague is almost secondary at points to the romantic problems of Bryce. After the death of the Japanese arms dealer his life went to hell in a handbasket and because of his own issues it cost him the relationship with Amelia. Along the way Darius at times counsels Bryce on his love life and issues while expounding on his love for Sonia.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard takes itself just seriously enough without being overly serious. The action is great and Dukhovich is a serious threat to our heroes. The finale is an over-the-top action fest that builds and builds to the just deserts of all the villainous people involved. There are explosions and shooting that keep in on the edge of your seat.
The film is carried largely on the banter and interactions between Jackson and Reynolds doing what they are best known to do. This movie has a pretty weak plot though. And that is fine. You come to this for a few laughs and good action and that is exactly what you get.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard while not the greatest action comedy the world is very good. It is nice to see the teaming of Reynolds and Jackson in something like this. Watch it!