Saturday, August 19, 2017

Movie Review: The Hitman's Bodyguard

The last films of the summer include the action comedy that pairs two stars with a clever premise to setup plenty of action scenes. Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is an AAA-rated bodyguard protecting some of the worst individuals in the world. When a client is killed he descend into a lower rating protecting coked-up lawyers and generally unhappy with his life and his smelly car. Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) is assigned to protect a prolific hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) as he is set to testify against a brutal Russian dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman). Kincaid only agrees to go along with Interpol because they have his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek).

When the convoy transporting Darius is attacked, he must flee with Agent Roussel to a safe house. Roussel used to date Bryce and she turns to him when she realizes there is a mole within Interpol. Bryce blames Roussel for the failure of his protection agency and the lowering of his rating plus he has had constant battles with Kincaid on previous jobs to make this assignment particularly unpleasant. Still, he agrees to take the job and the two escape the safe house hunted by Interpol and Dukhovich's men. Bryce sticks with a plan while Kincaid takes each moment as it comes constant drinking and mistakenly taking a goon's cell phone so they are easily tracked. The banter between Reynolds and Jackson helps move along the comedic parts between the action scenes. The shootouts and car chases steadily grow as Dukhovich's henchman Ivan (Yuri Kolokolnikov) moves closer to his target.

The bodyguard and hitman traverse across Europe trying to make it to the Hague on time for Kincaid to testify at the trial. With the help of Kincaid, Bryce works through his relationship problems with Roussell. Sonia is a bully in her prison cell and is pissed at her husband for being the cause of locking her up. The story of them meeting in a bar in Honduras is hilarious and a great scene with two veteran actors. Kincaid continues to set out on his out without the protection of his bodyguard and insists that he'd be better off alone. When Bryce learns that Kincaid is responsible for the kill that ruined his career, he gives up protecting the hitman and heads out into Amsterdam to drink. A shootout and boat/car chase ensue and Bryce gives in finally helping him by riding in on a motorcycle. He ends up captured and in need of help himself. One thing that was a little disturbing was the scenes of a European city terrorized by speeding cars through the streets that felt somewhat tone deaf during the current situation of constant attacks, but this is the first time I have had thoughts like this despite many similar scenes in other movies.

Their friendship has grown and Kincaid decides to help Bryce in return saving him from awful torture. The two men make it to the court case just in time so that Kincaid can testify but Dukhovich has other plans enacting an escape with men on the inside. Amelia confronts the mole and Bryce takes a bullet for Kincaid. Still alive thanks to Bryce, Kincaid pursues Dukhovich and kills him on the roof. Bryce and Amelia forgive each other and get back together. Kincaid agrees to go back to jail though he escapes on his anniversary with Sonia and returns to the bar where they met.

The Hitman's Bodyguard is a decent action comedy that utilizes the best aspects of the top billed actors and actresses. It's nice to see Elodie Yung getting more roles though they could have used her fighting talents more. Reynolds capitalizes on his persona from his superhero success adding to the humor action roles while Jackson brings his action experience and seems to be having enough fun to make for plenty of good laughs. Hayek had some of the funniest scenes and I'd be down to see a sequel if this film makes enough money but it might as well stay just an original idea.  There are not many of these R-rated action movies coming out and it will try to find some space after the blockbuster films of summer but success for this action comedy will be on a different scale than what we've seen over the past few months.

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