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Movie Review: The Hitman's Bodyguard

Reynolds and Jackson are very funny in a very bad movie.

By Sean PatrickPublished 7 years ago 3 min read

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a very divisive film. Not because it has any challenging themes but rather because it is both a laugh riot and quite a bad movie. At once, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is very, quite intentionally, funny and quite poorly directed. I call the film divisive not because audiences will either love or loathe the film in equal measure but rather because I am divided personally by the fact that I repeatedly laughed quite loud during the film and by the fact that the film’s green screen effects, storytelling, and casting are so shoddy that at times I physically wretched.

Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson co-star in The Hitman’s Bodyguard, with Jackson as the hitman and Reynolds as the bodyguard (the too clever by half poster parodies the Whitney Houston-Kevin Costner movie). Jackson is the world’s most wanted hitman, Darius Kincaid. He’s been captured by Interpol after they arrested his wife, Sonia (Salma Hayek) and threatened to hold her in prison until he turned himself and testified against world renowned terrorist and Belarussian dictator Vladislav Dukovich (Gary Oldman, so bored of this role he can barely keep his terrible makeup job from falling off from his obvious, repeated eye-rolling).

When Interpol is compromised by the single most obvious mole in history, played by Joachim De Almeida, who might as well walk around with TRAITOR tattooed to his forehead, Agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) calls in her ex-boyfriend, Michael Bryce (Reynolds) to take Darius to court. Naturally, this court happens to be all the way across Europe and the two mismatched pals must road trip through Vlad’s terrorist gang to get to their destination.

Yeah, this plot is terrible, ludicrously, painfully obvious and extremely played out. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is forced, clichéd, and predictable to the point of torture for anyone who’s seen more than one movie in their lifetime. Director Patrick Hughes then makes matters worse by topping his bad plot with even worse direction, including special effects that make the rear-projection in Saturday Night Live skits look great by comparison.

I also mentioned the casting as a problem. You may not know the name Joachim De Almeida but when you see his face you know he’s not the good guy. De Almeida has made his career playing drug dealers and duplicitous baddies to the point where him playing a good guy would have to be considered a major twist. And don’t even get me started on the gaggle of Eastern European extras playing Oldman’s henchmen who dress like Neo-Nazis and shoot like Star Wars stormtroopers. The casting is a nightmare especially when you consider how great the lead performers are.

Though they are each playing variations on characters they’ve played before, both Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds are really funny in The Hitman’s Bodyguard. A scene where Jackson's hitman is told by an Interpol Agent that they will keep him out of harm’s way, Jackson’s response is “S*** Mother******, I Am Harm’s way,” and with his pitch perfect delivery I didn’t stop laughing until sometime in the middle of the next scene.

Reynolds meanwhile is doing yet another motor-mouthed charmer performance that I know I should be tired of by now but I’m not. Reynolds’ patter hits a sweet spot in my mind, reminiscent of 80s era Eddie Murphy when his way with words was so good it didn’t matter if the movie was any good (i.e The Golden Child). Somehow, I have yet to tire of Reynolds’ many variations of his Van Wilder/Deadpool character. I might one day but for now, he’s so fun that I can’t completely hate The Hitman’s Bodyguard.

My brain hurts from being so divided by The Hitman’s Bodyguard. I cannot remember a time when I saw two actors be so much fun in such a terrible movie. Add in a very funny supporting turn from Salma Hayek and the snarky pleasure of watching Gary Oldman troll the entire movie with his bored villain, and there are undoubted pleasures to be mined from The Hitman’s Bodyguard. And yet, let there be no misunderstanding, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is not a good movie but somehow it’s a very funny movie.


About the Creator

Sean Patrick

Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for the I Hate Critics Movie Review Podcast I am a voting member of the Critics Choice Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.

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