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Movie Review: The Hitman's Bodyguard
Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) was once a triple A rated Bodyguard for A-list celebrities and international important persons. He was at the top of his profession, that is until one of his well known clients was assassinated. Since then, his career has hit rock bottom and he has driven away the woman he loves, agent Amelia Roussel (Eloise Yung). In present day, Belarusian Dictator, Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), is facing criminal charges in an international court. The only person that has hard, incriminating evidence against Dukhovich is a notorious hitman named Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson).
Amelia Roussell has been tasked with escorting Darius Kincaid and the evidence to the trial but, when the escort is ambushed, Amelia needs help from someone outside of the agency. She turns to her ex-boyfriend, Michae Bryce but (little does she know) Michael Bryce and Darius Kincaid have a long and heated history. Darius has tried to kill many targets that Michael has been trying to protect.
Now Michael Bryce has to escort Darius Kincaid to the international court while getting past Vladislav Dukhovich's forces. The only way they will be able to make it to the court alive is if the two can somehow find a way to together, which will be no small feat.
The Pros & Cons
Ryan Reynolds & Samuel L. Jackson (+10pts)
Ivan & His Storm Troopers (-4pts)
Character Development (+3pts)
The Plot (-5pts)
Gary Oldman & The Evidence (-4pts)
Pro: Ryan Reynolds & Samuel L. Jackson (+10pts)
Did I think either of these actors have Oscar worthy performances? No. This is an over-the-top, ridiculous movie and these actors played it as such. What I really enjoyed, was these two characters on screen together.
Ryan Reynolds plays Michael Bryce, a high-profile bodyguard who always has a plan for every possible outcome of every possible situation. Oh, and he is also a quick witted, cynical loud-mouth.
Samuel L. Jackson plays a hitman, named Darius Kincaid. Darius is also a quick witted loud-mouth but never seems to have a plan. He just kind of wings it.
These two characters have crossed paths many times before but this movie forces them to work together and let's just say that the mixture was less than smooth. That being said, it was a lot of fun to watch these characters clash along their journey because, while they both seem to hate each other, they very clearly respect each other.
Con: Ivan & His Storm Troopers (-4pts)
Gary Oldman plays the main antagonist of the film, Vladislav Dukhovich. Dukhovich is a fairly hands-off antagonist but his main henchmen, Ivan (Yuri Kolokolnikov), saw his fair share of action. Ivan and his men are supposed to be an intimidating and almost unstoppable force. Instead, they seem to have learned their firearm skills from Stormtroopers. They shower action scenes with bullets and seem to hit everything but their target (even when their target is wide out in the open).
Ivan and his men were supposed to be intimidating and they made for some visually entertaining action sequences but their complete lack of skill made the danger feel very low. The only exception to this was an action sequence between Ivan and Michael Bryce. That was a great scene.
Pro: Character Development (+3pts)
This is an element where so many action films fall apart, Character Development. I thought this film did a decent enough job at trying to develop the character of Michael Bryce. He starts out as an A-list bodyguard, but one failure brings him down to nothing. He then struggles to cope with his declining career and ends up pushing away the woman he loves, Amelia Rousel (Elodie Yung). That's where this film starts, and Amelia is the one who calls Michael Bryce.
Michael Bryce, through his reluctant partnership with Darius, then goes on a journey of self realization. What went wrong with his failed client all those years ago? Who is really to blame? What is most important to him? It was entertaining to watch Michael Bryce come to all of these realizations.
Con: The Plot (-5pts)
This is another area where so many action films fall apart. Unfortunately, this one does too. I will say that this movie does a good job of explaining why these two characters are working together. What I struggled with was the mission. Dukhovich is being put on trial, the only person who has the evidence to convict him is Darius Kincaid. Okay, the premise makes sense on the surface. However, why could Darius not give the evidence to the federal government? The evidence is also digital evidence so why could Darius not send the evidence to the trial electronically? Why could Darius not give the evidence to a more unknown person to deliver it to the trial? When you start asking these questions, the plot of this film catastrophically falls apart.
Pro: Action (+6pts)
Terrible aim by the villain's aside, the action in this film was pretty fun. With high speed car chases, large explosions, cool stunts, and bullets flying everywhere, there is enough action in this film to satisfy any fan of the genre. The film has decent stunt choreography in some scenes and great stunt choreography in others. It is also worth noting that this film does not have many breaks in the action. It is packed with action (both comedic and non-comedic) from beginning to end. By doing so, the movie captures your attention and tries to hang on to it until the end of the movie.
This movie is not perfect, but it (more or less) gets the action right which makes for a fun movie going experience. My only complaint with the action would be the terrible aim by the villains. It does not sound like much but it took suspense away from a lot of the action sequences.
Con: Gary Oldman & The Evidence (-4pts)
Gary Oldman is a great actor, but his character was very one-dimensional. He is bad because he does bad things and hires bad people to help him. That is essentially all you need to know about the character.
Additionally, while I already touched on the delivery of the evidence, the evidence itself was a bit ridiculous. I do not want to spoil it, but let's just say the evidence was way too clear to have been collected in a discreet manner. There is also no reason the evidence could not have been sent discreetly. This essentially makes the entire movie one big plot hole.
Grade: B- (81pts)
The Hitman's Bodyguard is a decent action-comedy that will satisfy any action-comedy fan. It has a lot of fun action and comedy that utilizes explosions, car chases, gun fights and heated bantering between the two lead characters. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, individually, were entertaining enough to watch. They each had interesting and fun character traits but the movie was at its best when their characters were together. The comedic bantering, between these two characters, made the movie a lot of fun to watch. Neither the action or the comedy will blow anyone away, but it will keep audiences entertained.
As most action-comedy films do, this film has major issues when it comes to the plot. The "mission" makes no sense whatsoever and the evidence is completely ridiculous. Luckily, this movie was not hoping for any award recognition. The goal for this film was to entertain its audience using action and comedy, and in that respect, this movie works well.
My recommendation is pretty simple. If you are looking for a good and compelling story, you will not find one in The Hitman's Bodyguard. What you will find is a action packed comedy. So if you are in the mood for an action film that will keep you laughing, then I recommend seeing this film.