In theaters today from director Patrick Hughes and Lionsgate is a pairing whose time has come with “The Hitman’s Bodyguard.”
Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) was the world’s top bodyguard, Triple-A rated in fact. Notice I said was! In the blink of an eye Bryce’s life went from the best of everything, including girlfriend Amelia (Elodie Yung) and a nice car to, well, not so much the best.
When a client is taken out on his watch, he is now driving a small set of wheels and shaving has literally taken a back seat. Bryce’s boring life is about to change thanks to Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), former country leader who is being prosecuted by The Hague for war crimes.
In order to hold Dukhovich responsible, prosecutors have a key witness in Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) who was captured and has agreed to talk. Bryce’s ex-Amelia heads a tactical group in charge of getting Kincaid to court before time runs out. Unfortunately there are those who are going to make that difficult.
Part of the deal in talking is that Kincaid’s wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) would be released from prison, which is just fine with Renata Casoria (Tine Joustra) and Jean Foucher (Joaquim de Almeida).
On the way the caravan is attack with Amelia and Kincaid surviving running to the nearest safe house. Knowing that getting to The Hague is imperative, Amelia calls Bryce for help. The moment Bryce and Kincaid meet it is clear these two hold grudges but not punches.
Yet a bromance begins that takes them through firefights, chases, moles, one-liners, realizations, if you can believe it — talks of love!
Reynolds as Bryce does this duo-comedy proud, but then again this isn’t rocket science. Reynolds has timing and a way of delivering a line that is sheer hilarity and, on occasion, becomes memorable. He has a razor sharp wit (have you seen his tweets?) and a sarcasm many wish they had. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is a laughing-notch in his comedic belt in the role of Bryce as the uptight and resentful bodyguard who isn’t exactly thrilled with helping an ex or a criminal.
Jackson as Kincaid is doing what Jackson seems to do best, be wild and crazy. Kincaid is a criminal who took the bait getting caught and has no problem making a deal, not for himself but his love Sonia. Once out in the world however, he knows exactly how to take care of himself and have a good time doing it. Kincaid is the huge thorn in Bryce’s side and enjoys that too! There is absolutely no way Jackson didn’t have a blast doing this film because his character was certainly enjoying himself. He gets to swear, use a gun, talk smack and claim love — a well-rounded acting gig if you ask me.
Hayek as Sonia is hysterical and gives her the chance to show her verbal badassness while looking pretty good in a jail cell. Again, she seemed to be having a great time. Rousell as Yung has a history with Bryce but that doesn’t stop her character from throwing him into the fray.
Oldman as Dukhovich gives his best crazy despot who doesn’t mind killing his own people and trying to get away with it character. It feels a bit like an older version of his crazy terrorist who doesn’t mind killing anyone as Ivan Korshunov in the 1997 film “Air Force One.” Always love me some Oldman so no complaints from me.
Other cast include Tsuwayuki Saotome as Kurosawa (remember that name), Rod Hallet as Professor Asimov, Yuri Kolokolnikov as Ivan, Barry Atsma as Moreno, and Richard E. Grant as Seifert.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” five tubs of popcorn out of five. I do this pretty much for one obvious reason, I laughed — and laughed hard! That is a big thing for me since most of this movie year I’ve been crying and bitching. This film took all that laughter I have been saving and shook it all right out of me.
Okay, I will also admit here, and see it as a warning in advance, don’t drink and laugh. There is a particular moment between Reynolds and Jackson that caused me to shoot Dr. Pepper right outta my nose — yes folks, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” produced an asner of epic proportion.
Yes, this is a buddy movie, yes there are a lot of those but are they as good as this? A few are and “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is setting a new high for finding the right duo to pull it off. Reynolds and Jackson are epic together and verbally go mouth-to-mouth with wit, sarcasm and song.
So group up and head to the theater for a serious good time with laughs provided by two of everyone’s favorite crazy people with “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”.
In the end — everyone is out to get them if they don’t kill each other first!