The world’s most lethal odd couple – bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) – are back on another life-threatening mission. Still unlicensed and under scrutiny, Bryce is forced into action by Darius’s even more volatile wife, the infamous international con artist Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek). As Bryce is driven over the edge by his two most dangerous protectees, the trio get in over their heads in a global plot and soon find that they are all that stand between Europe and total chaos. Joining in the fun and deadly mayhem are Antonio Banderas as a vengeful and powerful madman and Morgan Freeman as… well, you’ll have to see.
What We Thought:
Did you like The Hitman’s Bodyguard? Well then you’ll like The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. The sequel is very similar to the first film, but makes Salma Hayek’s character one of the leads and takes out Gary Oldman and replaces him with Antonio Banderas as the bad guy. Overall I didn’t mind either film, but they both suffer from the same issues which I’ll get to. But first, the positives!
Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson have fantastic chemistry together. They are both naturally funny guys and play off each other very well. Reynolds plays the “straight” with Jackson the “wild card” in this two-man comedy act. With this movie Reynolds is even more straight-laced giving up guns and violence and trying to get straightened out and licensed. Jackson, like the first film, is shoot first, ask questions later and drops a whole lotta mother*******. Hayek gets a lot more to do this time around being just as much a foil to Reynolds as Jackson and maybe out swearing even Sam.
Both Reynolds and Jackson are veterans of action movies so the action is pretty solid as well. Sure the film relies heavily on CGI and some of it looks ridiculous, but that is pretty expected in today’s films. There’s plenty of fighting, driving, explosions and more all set against beautiful backdrops.
Unfortunately it being an action-comedy it struggles to remember to do both at times. The action is good when it’s there, but the second act is a glorified buddy road comedy which the first film also struggled with. With the three leads on the run, it’s more about them getting away, trying to get to Tuscany for help than it is about action. The Hitman’s Bodyguard did the same exact thing when the second act turns into a Reynolds & Jackson road trip, this one just adds Hayek to the mix. It suffers from too many tonal shifts and forgets what kind of movie it is often.
The biggest issue is the swearing. It was my biggest complaint with the first movie as well. Don’t get me wrong, I have zero issue with swearing and with Sam Jackson in a movie you expect to hear mother****** often, but it’s excessive in these films especially from Hayek. I don’t know why filmmakers think swearing still makes people seem tough, but I’d bet that Hayek swears as often as she says regular words. It seems forced and not natural.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a decent enough way to kill some time in air conditioning while getting back to the movie theater. There is a scene that introduces a character that made the entire theater I was in laugh and that scene might be worth the price of admission. Reynolds and Jackson are great together and Hayek hangs with the boys with ease. I do think they wasted Frank Grillo because his character could be thrown out and the film would ultimately still happen. Right now two horror flicks are kings of the box office and I don’t see this overtaking them, but if you genuinely enjoyed the first film you’ll like this.
CAST & FILMMAKERS:
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Frank Grillo, and Morgan Freeman
Directed by: Patrick Hughes
Screenplay by: Tom O’Connor
Produced by: Matthew O’Toole, Les Weldon, and Avi Lerner
RATING: Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, pervasive language, and some sexual content
RUNTIME: 99 Minutes