Movie Review: The Hitman's Bodyguard
The Hitman’s Bodyguard hit theaters over the weekend to mixed reviews. The action comedy features Samuel L. Jackson as hitman Darius Kincaid, Ryan Reynolds as protection agent Michael Bryce, Gary Oldman as ruthless dictator Vladislav Dukhovich, and Elodie Yung as Agent Amelia Roussel. It also included Salma Hayek as Kincaid’s wife, Sonia, and a cameo from Richard E. Grant as one of Bryce’s clients. It was directed by Patrick Hughes, best known for his work on Expendables 3, and to be honest, had one of the best posters known to man by recreating a poster from Whitney Houston’s 1992 film, The Bodyguard.
The movie begins with a short introduction to protection agent Michael Bryce (Reynolds) and his seemingly perfect life. He has the nice house, beautiful girlfriend, and he just successfully delivered his high profile client safely to the airport. Well, he did until a bullet comes racing through the small window of the plane, killing his client. We move on to two years in the future where his life seems much less glamorous. He’s now sent to protect people like his current client, a businessman who also appears to be a drug addict. In other areas of the world, Belarus dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Oldman) is on trial for crimes against humanity. There is one witness who can seal the case, hitman Darius Kincaid (Jackson). When the Interpol-led delivery goes awry, Bryce is called in to complete Kincaid’s transport, which leads us on the hilarious, sometimes oddly heartwarming journey that unfolds as they race to the trial.
So, when watching a movie like this, you just have to be honest about what it is. This is a fun, language-riddled adventure. It’s not Oscar material. It’s not going to be noted for its many thought-provoking layers. It’s a simple movie. Two guys that hate each other are forced on a journey together. It’s a classic premise, and it is genuinely just these two guys trying not to kill each other or be killed so that Kincaid can be at this trial.
However, while it is simple, I found it to be truly funny. They have a great supporting cast in Oldman, Yung, and Hayek, but Reynolds and Jackson completely steal the show. Reynolds pulls off the dry sense of humor and common sense approach to situations that is the complete opposite to Jackson’s relaxed and spontaneous view of the world. Somehow Jackson still manages to charm the audience, even though we know he is a man who was killed hundreds of people for profit. Their chemistry makes the movie, and while there’s not a lot of depth, the storyline still pushes for growth for Reynolds’ character, which I found rewarding.
Also, the humor is rampant, as we would all expect it to be. They say funny quips and remarks throughout the movie, but the physical humor is where this movie really shines. Some of those moments were shown in the trailer with unexpected punches and such, but that’s not where it ends. There is a scene in a tool shop that embodied improvisational fighting, and I laughed way too hard during the whole sequence. Also, this movie should be noted for some truly spectacular car chases through the narrow streets of Amsterdam. Well, there are boats and motorcycles as well, so I guess I should say that all the motorized vehicle chases were fantastic.
Overall, this movie is just as over-the-top and ridiculous as I expected, and it genuinely had me in tears during certain moments. Reynolds and Jackson are an unlikely team, but their ironic characterizations work well on screen. There were even some heartwarming sentiments about love and life along the way. For all the humor, though, there are some cringeworthy sections of physical injuries; Jackson removing a bullet from his leg made me feel almost sick to my stomach. Also, there are enough F-bombs in here that it could outpace several shows on HBO. So, if you decide to check out this hilarious adventure, consider yourself warned that this film is rated R for a reason, and those reasons are called violence and language.