With the charisma of Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson at the forefront of this film, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is entertaining but flawed in its unoriginality and cliché.
When elite ‘AAA-rated’ bodyguard Michael Bryce is hired to protect Takashi Kurosawa his world falls apart when the job doesn’t go the way he wanted. Now, two years later Bryce is struggling to get by, disgraced and having to protect drug filled corporate executives this is the lowest point in Bryce’s life. Meanwhile, notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) agrees to testify against the bloodthirsty dictator of Belarus, Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) in exchange for the release of his wife, Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) from prison. After the escort of Kincaid is ambushed, Amelia Roussel (Élodie Yung) now knowing that Interpol is distrustful calls her ex-boyfriend Bryce for help, distastefully, Bryce agrees. However on arrival we find out that Bryce and Kincaid have been enemies for years with Kincaid trying to kill Bryce 28 times. This causes a rocky road for Bryce as he is now a bodyguard for the hitman in an attempt to escort him safely to his testimony.
Action Comedies can often produce incredible amounts of on-screen fun if done right, recent ones include: Hot Fuzz, 21 Jump Street, Tropic Thunder, The Other Guys and The Nice Guys. All those films have one thing in common and that’s great chemistry between the two main characters, this is what drives the movie along. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson are two great actors and they bounce off each other well here.
Reynolds character is sensible and always thinks ‘Boring is best’, he thinks carefully before he does, and does his job cleanly and professionally. Whereas Samuel L. Jacksons character is the opposite, he wants to go in all guns blazing, life is fun to him, thinking too much is boring, this is the way he has always gone in his life and he’s not changing anytime soon. The opposing character personality keeps the exchange of dialogue amusing and the chemistry successful.
The film is packed full of action and for the most part it’s fine, it is easy to follow and keeps you entertained but lacks variety and is nothing new, you are not going to leave and recall how great any of the action scenes were. Furthermore, the plot is recycled; it is not going to amaze you and is rather predictable. Gary Oldman’s Dukhovich is rarely on screen, which is a shame; it feels like Oldman’s performance is wasted and underused, it could have really contrasted the comedy further.
With a clichéd plot, effortless action and underused characters, the only thing keeping The Hitman’s Bodyguard from sinking is a normal amount of Jackson saying “Motherfucker” and Reynold’s comedy talent.