Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Movie Review: "The Hitman's Bodyguard" (2017)

Director: Patrick Hughes
Year: 2017
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 58 minutes

A bodyguard is tasked with protecting a hit-man who is a key witness in a trial against a malevolent dictator, who is on trial for crimes against humanity in an international court.

We sure do love us some Ryan Reynolds and some Samuel L. Jackson. These two powerhouse actors are paired up in what is a sort of buddy cop film, except their characters aren't really buddies and neither of them are cops. Reynolds plays Michael Bryce, a bodyguard who was once "Elite AAA rated," but after losing a high-value client, his life and career have kind of gone to shit. Jackson plays Darius Kincaid, a hit-man who has made numerous attempts at killing Bryce throughout his career. Now, Kincaid is a key witness against brutal Belarusian dictator Vladislav Dukhovich, played by Gary Oldman, who will do whatever it takes to make sure Kincaid doesn't testify. Interpol is supposed to transport Kincaid to the courthouse, but it becomes clear there is a leak in the agency. After a tussle, agent Amelia Roussel, played by Elodie Yung, asks Bryce, her ex-boyfriend, to protect Kincaid and become "The Hitman's Bodyguard." Crazy action ensues as these two lethal weapons face off against an army of mercenaries on a what is sort of a wacky road trip with lots and lots and lots of killing.

Most critics haven't been very kind to this film, but as Darius Kincaid says, "when life gives you shit, make Kool-Aid." In a year full of mostly crappy comedies, "The Hitman's Bodyguard" almost feels amazing in comparison. Here, we have two characters who are mostly antagonistic towards each other due to their pretty rocky past. As expected, Darius and Michael have to put all of their issues behind them and be professional in their quest. This isn't an easy task and the two regularly butt heads throughout the flick in a battle of, as Darius Kincaid says, "swingin' dicks."

Both Reynolds and Jackson are very charming and offer up laughs on a fairly regular basis. Ryan Reynolds does his typical sarcastic and deadpan delivery with an undercoat of dickish arrogance, and Jackson offers the more brazen attitude with witty one-liners highlighted by colorful metaphors (and if you know anything about Jackson's past roles, you'll know exactly which "colorful metaphor" we're talking about). These two leads have excellent chemistry with one another and really help to elevate this otherwise by the book, pedestrian action comedy that never once takes itself seriously. When we aren't laughing, there are lots of intense, exciting, sometimes thrilling action scenes that don't hold back and take full advantage of the movie's R-rating.

The biggest problems we had with this movie are found in its technical aspects. Director Patrick Hughes, who is best known for directing "The Expendables 3," chooses many oddly lit shots with the camera directly facing light sources, which cause lens flares and a hazy look on the screen. This becomes excessive and distracting, and we were pulled out of the movie more than once because of it. Some of the shots also feel partially out of focus (unless there was a problem with our theater's projector, which we doubt since we were there the night before and it was fine). The camera gets a bit overly shaky during a couple of action scenes as well, but this doesn't bug us as much as the other issue. Though we did find this stuff a bit distracting, these moments still don't detract from "The Hitman's Bodyguard" all that much. In the end, this movie is a whole lot of fun and definitely worth a watch if you like sarcastic comedy and bomb-tastic action.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: ~7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~40%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?


  1. My wife and I saw it this evening. We both had a really good time. That's all we ask from a movie.

    1. Hi, Garfield! That's what we ask for when we go to the movies as well! The technical problems were more of a minor criticism that took us out of the film momentarily, but we really did have a good time watching this and we're glad you and your wife did as well!