The world’s top protection agent [Ryan Reynolds] is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world’s most notorious hitmen [Samuel L. Jackson]. The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator [Gary Oldman] who is out for blood. Salma Hayek joins the mayhem as Jackson’s equally notorious wife.
What We Thought:
It’s funny, 20-30 years ago action comedies were king. If this came out then and starred Bruce Willis with Eddie Murphy or Bruce Willis with Martin Lawrence, it would have been a huge hit. Instead The Hitman’s Bodyguard comes out in August 2017 and it feels out-of-place. The movie itself is all over the place in terms of tone. There are some great action scenes and some comedic elements, but it didn’t seem to gel all that well.
I’ve been a fan of Ryan Reynolds for over 15 years now, long before Deadpool made him huge, I loved Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Shop. Plus I like Samuel L. Jackson and have loved his last couple of performances pretty much playing himself regardless of the era the movie was based on (Tarzan I’m looking at you). I love action movies. I love comedies. So why didn’t I love this?
One issue was the swearing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a good Christian boy who thinks swearing will send you to hell, but a lot of it feels forced here. Yes we expect Sam Jackson to drop a mother f*cker or two, but it’s pretty excessive. Salma Hayek plays his wife in the movie and she might drop more F-bombs than Sam! Her’s felt even more forced. She plays a tough ass Mexican in prison because of her husband and she swears non-stop. It’s not edgy or cool anymore, cut it by three-quarters already.
The tone is definitely an issue as well. The film has a lot of action in it, but at times it seems to stop to allow jokes to happen. Obviously with guys like Reynolds and Jackson there will be comedic elements, but it takes you out of the pace of the film at times. Does it want to be a buddy comedy or does it want to be an action film? I would have loved a great action comedy, but again, it didn’t work 100% for me. It could have been The Last Boy Scout, but it wasn’t. Plus I have no idea what accent Gary Oldman was doing throughout the film and at one point I think he was dubbed over by someone else.
Although I will say that the third act, once Jackson and Reynolds hit the road together to get Jackson to court is pretty fun. I had more fun watching that than most of the beginning. From that point forward it’s a good buddy road comedy with a really great chase sequence. I wish the entire movie was on par with the third act because then I would have loved the movie. It might be worth seeing for that alone.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard feels more like a movie that should come out in October or February than a summer movie. Although at this point, August releases are less blockbusters and more last ditch efforts to cash in on summer money. With very little competition I can see it winning the weekend with around an $18 million opening. That’s not huge money especially for two big named actors, but a number 1 movie is still a number one movie.
Cast & Crew:
- Ryan Reynolds
- Samuel L. Jackson
- Salma Hayek
- Gary Oldman