Movie Review: “The Hitman's Bodyguard”
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 the agency. She turns to her ex-boyfriend, 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)
This was an over-the-top, ridiculous movie, and these actors played it as such. They worked for this movie, and I really enjoyed seeing these two characters on screen together. Ryan Reynolds played Michael Bryce, a high-profile bodyguard who always has a plan for every possible outcome of every possible situation. Oh, and he was also a quick witted, cynical loud-mouth.
Samuel L. Jackson played a hitman named Darius Kincaid. Darius was also a quick witted loud-mouth, but never seems to have a plan. He always just kind of wings it, and it is something that drove Michael Bryce crazy in this movie. These two characters have crossed paths many times before, but this movie forced them to work together, and the pairing was not exactly smooth. That being said, while they both seemed to hate each other, they still very clearly respected each other. This was a dynamic that I enjoyed watching.
Con: Ivan & His Stormtroopers (-4pts)
Gary Oldman played the main antagonist of the film, Vladislav Dukhovich. He was a fairly hands-off antagonist, but his main henchmen—Ivan (Yuri Kolokolnikov)—saw his fair share of action. Ivan and his men were supposed to be an intimidating and almost unstoppable force. Instead, they seem to have learned their shooting skills from Stormtroopers. They showered the action scenes with bullets and seemed to hit everything but their target—even when their target was 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 skills 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, but everything other action sequence was filled with conveniently unskilled baddies.
Pro: Character Development (+3pts)
Character development is an element where too many action movies are lacking. Fortunately, I thought the filmmakers of this movie did a decent enough job at trying to develop the character of Michael Bryce. He started out as an A-list bodyguard, but one massive failure destroyed his reputation. He then struggled to cope with his declining career and ended up pushing away the woman he loved, Amelia Rousel (Elodie Yung). That was where this story started, and it made for a somewhat interesting character story.
Michael Bryce, through a reluctant partnership with Darius, went on a journey of self realization. What went wrong with his failed client all those years ago? Who was really to blame? What was most important to him? It was entertaining to watch Michael Bryce grow due to the experiences he had throughout this movie.
Con: The Plot (-5pts)
This is another area where too many action films fall apart. Unfortunately, this movie was one of them. Let me start by saying that the filmmakers did a good job of explaining why these two characters were working together. What I struggled with was the mission. Vladislav Dukhovich was being put on trial, and the only person who had the evidence to convict him was Darius Kincaid. That premise makes sense on the surface. However, why could Darius Kincaid not have given the evidence to the federal government?
The evidence was also digital evidence, so why could Darius not send the evidence to the trial electronically? Why could Darius not have given the evidence to a more unknown person to deliver it to the trial? When you start asking these questions, the plot of this film starts falling apart. The premise was a simple one that made sense, but the plot that went along with it made very little.
Pro: Action (+6pts)
Putting the terrible aim by the bad guys aside, the action in this film was pretty fun. With high speed car chases, large explosions, cool stunts, and bullets flying everywhere, there was enough action in this film to satisfy any fan of the genre. The film had decent stunt choreography in some scenes and great stunt choreography in others. It is also worth noting that this movie did not have many breaks in the action.
The movie was packed with action—both comedic and non-comedic in nature—from beginning to end. It will capture your attention and will try to hang on to it until the very end of the movie. It was not perfect, but the filmmakers—more or less—got the action right, which made for a fun movie. My only complaint with the action was the terrible aim by the bad guys. It does not sound like much, but it definitely took some suspense away from a lot of the action sequences.
Con: Gary Oldman & The Evidence (-4pts)
Gary Oldman is a great actor, but his character in this movie was very one-dimensional. He was bad because he did bad things, and hired bad people to help him do those bad things. 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 the evidence was way too clear to have been collected in a discreet manner. There was also no reason the evidence could not have been sent discreetly. This essentially made the entire movie one big plot hole.
Grade: B- (81pts)
The Hitman's Bodyguard was a decent action-comedy that will satisfy any action-comedy fan. It had a lot of fun action and comedy that utilized 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. Neither the action or the comedy will blow anyone away, but it will keep audiences entertained nonetheless.
As most action-comedies do, this movie had some major issues when it came to the plot. The "mission" made no sense whatsoever and the evidence was completely ridiculous. Fortunately, the goal for this movie was to entertain its audience using action and comedy, and in that respect, this movie worked 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 mildly entertaining, action-packed comedy.