You know damn well that when movie legends Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds get together that comedy gold is just a moment away. Then add to the mix Selma Hayek screaming “motherfucker” into the face of the king of motherfuckers and you know you’re in for a good time.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard tells the tale of the world’s highest-rated bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and his new client Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson): one of the world’s most deadly assassins.
Just one minor detail. They’re mortal enemies and have been fighting each other for years. In fact, Kincaid has tried to kill Bryce 28 times. So, you know, what could possibly go wrong?
But the relentless bodyguard and merciless assassin will have to put their differences aside to complete their mission. Kincaid is due to testify at the International Court of Justice against a ruthless dictator (Gary Oldman). The duo must work together to survive their trip and make it to the trail on time.
Their adventure takes them from Manchester to The Hague where they plan to bring down the heartless dictator. The unlikely duo encounter high-speed car chases, ridiculous boat escapades and countless baddies to fight.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a hilarious buddy action comedy that hits most of the right notes. It doesn’t take itself seriously, like at all. There’s hints of Johnny English and The Other Guys within it.
It’s slapstick comedy at its best. Yes, there’s a shit-tonne of bad language in the movie but it wouldn’t be a Samuel L. Jackson flick without the occasional “motherfucker” thrown in for good measure.
However, there’s a few misfires in this action movie that take you out of the moment. It loses pace mid-way through and then clambers to recover for the big finale.
But Ryan Reynolds, still running high from his Deadpool success, brings his usual raucous energy to his role. It’s not the star pairing you would have expected, but together Jackson and Reynolds are quite the comedy duo. They make for quite formidable sparring partners.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard isn’t the greatest action-comedy romp I’ve seen all year, but it’s still worth a visit. While it’s no laugh-a-minute comedy, give it a shot and I’m sure you’ll be laughing away in no time at all. It’s a flawed, beer soaked love letter to every ridiculous action comedy of the 90s’.
By Ruth Walker