If there is one actor who has single-handedly perfected the execution, nuance and delivery of the word motherf*cker, there is only one name people really need to think about, and you can bet your bottom-dollar it is none other than the always entertaining and widely available (I mean the guy is in everything, someone give his agent an Academy Award already) Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson, who has close to two-hundred acting credits to his name, can basically pull off anything; action, adventure, drama, comedy and of course, well…as I mentioned, anything. This time around, Jackson decides to pull of working next to a post-Deadpool Ryan Reynolds, and thankfully, given the absolutely hysterical and effortless chemistry between the two, allows The Hitman’s Bodyguard to be an easy to swallow throwback action comedy duo film.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a very campy yet guilt-ridden entertaining action comedy film that pays homage to so many films and instances of the nineteen-ninteis. Right out of the gates, in the film’s first theatrical trailer, it begins and ends with the extremely famous and recognizable motion picture soundtrack hit “I Will Always Love You”, which belongs to, and still is, one of the most purchased movie soundtracks of all-time. In addition to stealing The Bodygaurd’s music, the first theatrical poster for the film is a very direct spoof to the theatrical poster as well, therefore cementing its nostalgic feel, even before watching it. Playing out action, comedy, romance and [somewhat] drama much like the early Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme actioners that once made these names household names, two of the best one-line giving A-list actors team up to give us the last fun-filled summer movie of 2017, and just in the nick of time, before all of big serious film festivals and Oscar hopeful award films.
While the premise of The Hitman’s Bodyguard is nothing to marvel at, just the idea of Ryan Reynold’s Michael Bryce, a straight-laced, by the numbers and mathematical AAA rated executive protection agent guarding Jackson’s world renown assassin; a foul-mouth and reckless Darius Kincaid, had me hooked immediately. I mean, come on! These are two actors with such expansive filmography’s that, we all know both are at liberty to add so much of their own personal comedy and selves into roles that are, essentially, caricatures of all the great and painfully pleasing characters of our childhoods. Plus, the direct comparison of Reynold’s Bryce to his recent discovery of bad-ass, fourth wall-breaking anti-heroes, is just a fun pace for the actor.
Joining in the fun, is the always transparent Gary Oldman, who can play every bad guy in film, from now until its eventual extinction. Playing a ruthless Eastern European dictator, who must do anything and everything to destroying Kincaid, before he is able to testify him in the court of law, adds to the nineties nostalgia and camp in ways that only Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Sschwarzenegger could understand. Additionally, the film was also able to nab the always cunning Richard E. Grant; the kick-ass young Elodie Yung, and not to mention, the scene-stealing Salma Hayek, who plays the fouled mouth, violent and enraged Sonia Kincaid.
While this is one film in 2017 where everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, seemed to have fun making, this is a film that radiates a good-time. Sure, the editing isn’t seemingless, the foreshadowing may be all-too obvious, the action is rushed and jumbled up into very incoherent forays, but The Hitman’s Bodyguard is very aware of the film it is, and what it wants to be and what it wants the audience to get from it; which is, good-ol’ popcorn fun.
One of the strengths of The Hitman’s Bodyguard is the time it takes with comedy; incorporating music, song, and somewhat choreographed sing-alongs, including the one-hit wonder “I Saw the Sign” into the film, Bodyguard is able to deviate away from the action timing and saturated placement of explosions, car chases and bar brawls that, at times, feel forced.
While the summer 2017 was anything less than impressive, this film will surely not be the one to injected some much needed life into the box-office. Don’t let this fool you though, the end of August marks the end of the summer movie season, and although everyone knows that the end of August films are more of a dumping ground to recoup budgets and fulfill studio contracts, The Hitman’s Bodyguard doesn’t look to face much competitive until the first week of September, where I am sure will be faced with horrifying results, once Pennywise and the new remake of It is released.
For now, Jackson, Reynolds, Hayek, Oldman and company are going to, more than likely, stay on top of the box-office for a couple weeks, with very modest numbers, but enjoy what its like at the top, especially when your only competition, will be killed off by two of the most charming leads working in Hollywood today.
Night Film Reviews: 5.5 Out of 10 Stars.
Was The Hitman’s Bodyguard the action-throwback film you were waiting for? Guilty pleasure of genuine new classic? Leave your shots on the film below!