Ryan Reynolds & Samuel L. Jackson bring dynamic chemistry to the screen in the vibrant action comedy, The Hitman's Bodyguard from Lionsgate Films. Tom O'Connor wrote a script from 2011's Blacklist (an annual survey of the "most liked" motion picture screenplays not yet produced). The Hitman's Bodyguard is a vast improvement over his former film 2012's direct to video Fire with Fire. Directed by Patrick Hughes, who previously helmed the lackluster, The Expendables 3 redeems himself as well. The film has a simple premise reminiscent of the late eighties & early nineties action movies I grew up loving.
Michael Bryce (Reynolds) is one of the best bodyguards in the business. He used to run a premier protection agency before losing a client, causing his business to fail and forcing him to become a personal bodyguard. Meanwhile, Interpol agent & Bryce's ex-girlfriend Amelia (Elodie Yung) moves up Interpol's ranks. She is leading the transport of a critical witness to a trial. Circumstances lead to Bryce being given the task of getting this witness to the courthouse to testify against a dictator (Gary Oldman). The witness, Darius Kincaid (Jackson), is one of the best hitmen in the business and has agreed to testify to free his currently imprisoned wife Sonia (Salma Hayek).
Is The Hitman's Bodyguard a predictable by the numbers action flick that has over the top action moments with a constant comedic one-liner thrown in for good measure? Yep, but that's what makes the film work, as you don't make movies like this serious. While Reynolds comes off as more of the straight man similar to his role in Safe House, to Jackson's fast-paced role, Reynolds & Jackson are having the time of their lives in the parts of Bryce & Kincaid. Both men have a chance to shine when it comes to action and comedy, and I would love to see a sequel.
As the film's central villain, the always delightful & menacing Oldman, can pull off the role of a big bad guy in his sleep, so he isn't given much to do. However, he brings his A-game as he always does. The female co-leads Hayek & Yung provide some substantial supporting work, with both given a significant action moment that put a smile on my face.
Jake Robert's follows up last year's Hell or High Water with some impressive editing for the action sequences. One particular chase sequence is my second favorite action scene of the summer movie season. Robert's showcases both Reynolds and Jackson doing damage to the bad guys in a believable way that is true to their character's nature. The Hitman's Bodyguard isn't going to win any awards, nor will it be for everyone due to the run time, foul language, and excessive violence.
However, if you're looking for a hard rated R throwback action-comedy flick, I highly recommend, The Hitman's Bodyguard.
Final Grade B+