“The Bible says to never take revenge, to leave it to the Lord. But I wasn’t prepared to wait that long…”
OK, first of all let’s get all the negative shit out the way. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is totally unoriginal. It is predictable, the script is cringeworthy in places and what should be a straightforward plot becomes unnecessarily convoluted at points. Now that is all out of the way, let us discuss the myriad of reasons why Patrick Hughes film is worth two hours of your time…
Writer Tom O’Connor aims for Shane Black territory but he doesn’t have the comedic chops or the intelligence to scale those heights. Ultimately, he is lucky that it is nigh on impossible to watch Ryan Reynolds and Sam Jackson trading insults without some laughs being produced. I must add though, this is down to their acting ability rather than anything in the script. Unsurprisingly, two of the worlds more charismatic actors have a great chemistry together and this is what eventually saves the film. Gary Oldman ekes out every last wring of entertainment from his one dimensional Russian villain (when will Hollywood write a different kind of villain for chrissakes?) and Selma Hayak and Elodie Yung provide better than average romantic foil for the two main protagonists.
Normally, an action film lives or dies on its action sequences and while they aren’t terrible here, they certainly aren’t groundbreaking either. Again, take Reynolds and Jackson out of this movie and you really would be left with a piece of shit. Their chemistry drives the film and ensures that all the plot holes and cliches in the world don’t stop you rooting for them.
One thing that I did enjoy about The Hitman’s Bodyguard is that it kinda recalls those 80s and 90s action classics that were so beloved because of their lack of awareness. There are no sly nods and winks to the camera here or genre references, this is the action movie in its purest form; guns, explosions, tits, muscles and face punching. It certainly isn’t art but sometimes art can be pretty damn boring and Samuel L. Jackson shooting up motherfuckers almost never is. A flawed triumph but the two leads just about make it worthwhile.