“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is directed by Patrick Hughes and stars Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Elodie Yung, Salma Hayek and Gary Oldman. The film is about a top of the line bodyguard who is forced to protect one of the world’s greatest hitmen after he is needed to testify against a brutal world leader at the International Court of Justice.
This is a film that I had been anticipating for a very long time, as Reynolds and Jackson are two of the most charismatic actors working in Hollywood today, so combining them as they are forced to team up sounded like a wonderful idea for some laughs. That, paired along with a very funny trailer and an R-rating had me very exciting coming in.
The chemistry between Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson is undeniable in this film, as these two light up the screen when they are together. On their own, I found Reynolds to be the funnier of the two, as his typical sarcasm and wittiness comes through excellently in his role here. Jackson is not far behind, though, as he gives a nearly equally funny performance giving his explosive profanity and consistently funny line delivery. Each A-lister has their own individual moments, but it is the back and forth that these two have that easily creates some of the funniest moments in the film. The way Reynolds and Jackson argue and bicker at each other while using the best of their own type cast performances made the movie significantly more enjoyable from start to finish.
The action sequences that take place throughout this movie are, for the most part, very entertaining and are shot relatively well, and it makes for some very cool moments in which the two lead characters can show off their incredible talents. The R rating helps quite a bit as well, as not only does it make the action grittier and more impactful, but it also allows for a much more vulgar Samuel L Jackson, as well as a surprisingly vulgar Salma Hayek, who I enjoyed quite a bit in this movie.
There isn’t all that much to this film, so it really comes down to the ability of its leads, and when the film centers on the relationship between Reynolds and Jackson, the movie is exactly what I had asked for. The jokes are all landing, the chemistry is impeccable, and the performances that these two give are terrific, and here’s hoping that these two find each other in more movies from here on out.
Unfortunately, whenever the focus isn’t strictly on the two leads, the film kind of falls apart in its story. I never really got into the villain portrayed by the usually wonderful Gary Oldman, as he is never that well developed and feels rather generic, and I wish there was some more time given to making him the vicious dictator that he was supposed to be. The same lack of development was a problem for the relationship between Reynolds and Elodie Yung, who was incredibly average in this movie. The chemistry between these two just wasn’t there, and I never really felt anything genuine between the two of them throughout the movie.
Another issue this film has is with its stakes, as there never really are any. Both lead characters are pretty much invincible, and never seem to fully feel any pain, and it makes the action scenes, while still fun to watch, must less tense than they should have been. Also, the movie often feels almost out of this world with the stats and events that seem far too natural, and it occasionally took me out of what was happening in the film.
“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” has its flaws in storytelling and character building, but this is entirely made up by the pure joy that Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson create in every scene that they share. Sure, the movie is quite absurd, and it’s far from perfect, but the comedy mostly lands, and I had quite a fun time watching “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” even with its flaws.
What did you think of “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”? Comment below with your thoughts.