2017 in Cinema:
The Hitman’s Bodyguard, 2017
Directed by: Patrick Hughes
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Salma Hayek, Elodie Yung, Joaquim de Almeida, Kirsty Mitchell, Richard E. Grant
Ryan Reynolds is Michael Bryce, a triple-A rated executive protection agent who is bribed into making sure captured hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson, Kingsman: The Secret Service), bribed by his former lover, it’s important to note. Darius is issued a bodyguard as he is an essential witness in the conviction of Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour), a merciless Eastern European dictator. The only slight issue with the plan is that Darius and Michael have a history, and they detest each other.
Their mission needs to end with the court case in Amsterdam, and, with the mention of Holland’s capital city, we need to make sure that this film uses the tropes of a film set in Holland:
- Do we see the Red Light District? Yes.
- Do we see a famous Amsterdam bridge? Yes.
Check. We’re definitely in Holland.
Half-action and half-comedy, The Hitman’s Bodyguard succeeds in both departments: the comedy is well-placed and it comes across, at times, as natural (even if a few fart-jokes made it to the final cut), and the action is high-impact, in-your-face and full of explosions; basically what you want in a film such as this (although there are some pretty poor green-screen shots). However, with regards to its action sequences, what is laughable in films such as this (and more ridiculously in Overdrive) is this concept that villains hire hitmen of their own to protect them, and hitmen who will shoot as-and-when, yet these hitmen have the worst possible aim. Samuel L. Jackson is 68 and yet he somehow manages to run and dodge a large amount of bullets being fired at him.
Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds play their parts very well; with Jackson being an over-the-top, laissez-faire hitman and Reynolds playing a more laid-back and organised worker. These character traits play a part in the plot and the jokes and the complete contrast really works. The bond between Michael and Darius grows throughout the film, from enemies to forced-colleagues to allies, and a credit to the writers as it evolves pretty naturally (even if Darius’ end attitude is a complete contrast to his beginning).
The romances the main two characters have/search for are quite nice, if nothing special. Michael takes on this mission as he still harbours feelings for Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung, Marvel’s The Defenders), after their split some two years prior to this film’s setting. The events of two years ago also play a part in Michael’s character as he takes on a nice arc throughout, combining his desire to regain his triple-A status, accepting what happened two years ago and finding true love.
While it’s nothing ground-breaking, The Hitman’s Bodyguard offers enough laughs and action scenes to keep you entertained. Decent performances from its two well-known lead stars, who have good chemistry together, and decent character arcs for its two leading characters help move this film along. A very fun film.
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