Movie Review: ‘Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’
Director: Patrick Hughes
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo
Plot: Michael Bryce is struggling to overcome his anxieties after his missions with Darius Kincaid, and retreats to Italy for a sabbatical. It here that he’s forcibly recruited by Kincaid’s wife Sonia to help in rescue Darius.
Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard came out 4 years ago and was a fun little romp. We gave it a solid review, but honestly haven’t given it much thought since. It was a standard action comedy throwback held aloft by the lead actors. We were pretty surprised to hear that a sequel was in the works because a little bit of fun goes a long way in this day and age. With Salma Hayek given a larger role this time around, and a couple of new cast members to mix it up, we were happy to enjoy the ride. With seatbelts on.
Bryce (Reynolds) and Darius (Jackson) pick up where they left off. They have an easy energy and their performances are at their best when the two of them are bantering back and forth and winding each other up. The inclusion of Sonia (Hayek) throws an extra wrench in the works with her manic unpredictability, and it’s been a while since we’ve seen her in a comedic role. On the side of villainy there’s Antonio Banderas with a scheme to disrupt Europe’s power supply in a bid to return Greece to its former glory as the centre of civilisation. We’re not clear on the details of this scheme, but it involves a big drill.
We’ve got a pretty cool cast put together here, but what we don’t have is much of a script to showcase their talents. The entire story is very paint-by-numbers, every aspect of it is comedy/action odd couple cliche. It does not feel like there was much effort to make this feel like a fresh take on the genre, or even to give it a unique tone. There’s not even an effort to make the story they have settled on interesting. Antonio Banderas is the new villain, and his character introduction is very much an example of this. He stands in a room and explains his entire backstory, motivation and plot to a character who has no further role to play in the movie. That’s all we get. A character standing still and reading his character summary out loud to someone else and we’re expected to get on board with this conflict. It boggles the mind that any film-maker would struggle to make this a more interesting scene.
Look, this movie does what it says on the tin. There are explosions and helicopters and gratuitous male gazing.
The scenery is nice and the characters have a good energy. The most confusing part is when Salma Hayek is touted as the big addition to the story but she gets excluded for almost the entire finale. I forgot she was actually there for a while. This highly skilled and dangerous woman has to spend the finale waiting to be rescued.
This is a silly movie.
Rating: FOUR out of TEN