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The Hitman's Bodyguard Film

Updated on September 18, 2017
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With an Olelo community video series "in development," Ms. Freeman finds a few moments to share her film thoughts.

A film synopsis

The first thought for the Movie Viewer is: Why does a hitman need a bodyguard?

And here’s why (spoiler free)…

“The world’s top protection agent (Ryan Reynolds) is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world’s most notorious hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson). The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator (Gary Oldman) who is out for blood.”


a Little Backgrounder

I wanted to give you a backgrounder on this film title.

In the preceding 2 weeks before Opening Night on August 17th, it’s been getting some serious promotional attention. The first promotional activity, as far as the Hawaii market is concerned, was a Pre-Screening Event on Wednesday, August 9th, held at the Regal Cinemas 12 in Kapolei. I had advance tickets to this screening, but everyone whom I invited to be my “Plus One,” did not want to drive to Kapolei. If the film’s producers and distributors are reading this column, please take this consideration into future distribution planning.

  • It seems that most people who want to attend free screenings (and I mean the local test audience expects a Full Paid Patron experience for Free), would rather attend screenings at Ward Cinemas 16 in town, mostly because of convenience factors (driving time, atmosphere, amenities while waiting for the Screening to begin).
  • A lot of film people commute via TheBus system, which does not provide transportation at convenient hours, once dusk starts. So, the Pre-Screenings in a rural market area might not be well-attended due to another set of traveling constraints.

The second promotional activity was a Free Movie Screening during opening weekend at the Regal Dole Cannery 18. This event required an online registration via AARP Hawaii. Yes, if you’re reading this, and want some giggles, I accidentally signed up for AARP email alerts, because of my mom’s advice (“AARP has some good discounts!”). The AARP disclaimer was in plain language, and was pretty good about the expectations of the Free Screening Pass, which “is normally overbooked and doesn’t automatically qualify the person to a free movie ticket, nor an automatic guaranteed seat at the screening.” was not as explicit about expectations for the potential audience, as for the Kapolei event, earlier in the month. Much aloha to AARP Hawaii for organizing this event at the Cannery. It was great to have this opportunity to reconnect with another film friend, Phyllis Donlin, whom I hadn’t seen since last summer.

Thank you to Nu Image/Millennium Films and Lionsgate, and the Film’s Producers for offering these activities to the general public. I haven’t seen this type of promotion, since I went “Active” on the Hawaii film scene in March 2017. Being a Theatre Auditor, I’m inside one of the aforementioned theatres on a continual weekly basis, based on the client’s requested work.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard contains another of my favorite producing team: David Ellison and Dana Goldberg, along with a host of other producers (Samuel and Victor Hadida, Veselin Karadjov, Avi Lerner, Tom Sulkowski). Most of the producers were involved with The Expendables, Resident Evil, Olympus Has Fallen, and The Mechanic: Resurrection, to name a few production credits, as well as some other film titles for you to check out.

Great job to the Second Unit Team, whose names are numerous to list. Every audience I’ve spoken with in PostFilmD, has enjoyed the film. And everyone loved the stunts.

How was the film experience?

The Waiting Time…

· Having touched base with Assistant Manager Ryan Bates on the Thursday before Opening Weekend, he suggested showing up at 1:30pm local time, about one hour before the Movie Screening’s start time.

· The AARP volunteers were hard at work at a Theatre-provided table inside the open-air Lobby. The line moved really quickly, since I had my email Confirmation Letter in hand. I was impressed with the professionalism, efficiency and courteousness of AARP Hawaii staff, so much that in a few years, I might like to volunteer when Membership Renewal time occurs. This really is a great organization. And, no, they’re not old.

· There was a great Concession Deal: a Large drink and popcorn combo for only $9. Because it was hot outside, I suggested a double scoop Gelato for some of the “Couples Only” patrons. In case you were wondering, Il Gelato is the provider of the Cannery’s gelato in plastic tubs. My favorite flavor is Blueberry Cheesecake, and backup flavor is Double Chocolate Fudge. Both of these flavors must be popular, so, have a third choice available if you are planning on attending Summertime movies or any of the bi-annual Film Festivals (if you must know, Green Tea or Lychee are my third and backup third choices).

The Bag Check

The movie theatre was not new to me, as this is one of the weekly audited locations. I already knew my way around the screen numbers and facility layout. Theatre management was very cordial to all people waiting for the Screening, and due to the nature of the Opening Weekend Screening, the requisite bag and purse check was performed on all patrons, since illegal recording has become an issue. It’s nice to see Regal Theatres doing bag checks on every person, due to its internal policy.

The only exception to this policy, is when I’m the weekly Theatre Auditor, then they don’t check my bag. And, it’s the same backpack I use, when I’m a paying customer.

  • And, if you’ve been a Hub follower of mine, you know my feelings on this one. Illegal recording is a Federal crime, so if you want to copy a movie, then be legit and purchase a copy, whether it’s a physical DVD (regular, BluRay, or mixed format), or a yearly subscription-based fee (there are numerous sites to choose from).
  • Just like drugs, movies are treated similarly. Legitimate ownership is one thing, but distributing contrabanded materials is quite another.
  • For theatrical viewing, the Motion Picture Studios own all rights to the movie, and the film’s Distributor (who may or may not be the same Studio) is allowed to distribute the film, per contractual agreement with theatres nationwide or world-wide.
  • For example, in Snowden, Oliver Stone tweeted that he hoped all people who saw the film did so legitimately in the theatres, by not recording it with their cellphones.

When entering the screen number, my AARP usher was checking Tickets, to ensure that patrons were in the correct theatre, and no one was Theatre Hopping. During the movie adventure, it’s a good idea to have your ticket stub on you at all times, in case you are asked which screen number you are in.

What is Theatre Hopping?

Sometimes, people theatre hop, where you pay for one movie, and then decide to switch screen numbers, for whatever reason. Don’t do this. If you are truly unhappy with your film, once the Feature starts (after the PreShow, Promos and Trailers have played out), speak to a member of management, and I’m sure they’ll refund your movie ticket, usually in the form of a Readmission Ticket, aka “a ReAdmit.” Normally, this window is within the first 10 to 15 minutes of the Feature. The Theatre Manager will ask you for a reason, because he or she needs it for their paperwork trail.

Theatre hopping can also occur if a patron gains illegal entry into the theatre, and believes they can see any movie in the theatre. This is a definite no-no, because if you didn’t pay for seat, then you’re not allowed to sit and watch for free. Again, this comes full circle with the Auditor role, as I get asked this question a lot.

What is a Readmission Ticket?

A Readmission Ticket is a color-coded ticket, usually with a red border, and is printed on thicker paper. In large, all capped letters, it reads “READMISSION TICKET.” The redemption terms are stated on the front side of the ticket.

More fun to report on

The Concession Line…

  • Moved really quickly! Thank you to Regal Dole Cannery management for adequately staffing enough workers for our event.

The Audience…

  • Was great!
  • Everyone laughed at the right moments, as the Feature was a comedy.
  • The story was pretty good, and there were incantations of “The Seatbelt Rule,” in PostFilmD.
  • To be able to share this movie experience with other like-minded film people, in the words of local entertainer Pashyn Santos, “is a truly wonderful experience.”

Ryan Reynolds as Michael Bryce

Michael is a triple A-rated executive protection agent, at the beginning of the film. He gets one of his clients killed, thereby losing his triple A rating status. Throughout the film, as only Ryan Reynolds can do, he explains the tier of where he was, to where he is now, to Samuel L. Jackson’s character (Darius Kincaid) in the First Act.

Thank you to Ryan’s two stunt doubles, for delivering great action sequences throughout.

I loved the acting method employed by Ryan, as his brand of humor is what made him successful as Wade Wilson in Marvel Studio’s Deadpool. And, if you don’t believe me, there’s Deadpool 2 coming out in 2019.

Samuel L. Jackson as Darius Kincaid

This actor needs no introduction. The King of Cool returns for another fun-filled film, from beginning to the last scene.

Thank you to Sam’s three stunt doubles for more action sequences. You guys know how to make him an even bigger star.

I really liked Sam’s acting method, as the style was seen in Kong: Skull Island, where he played LTC Packard, and delivered such memorable lines as “I am the Calvary.” This movie has some exceptional one-liners, as most of the Bromance is dialogue-based (“Is this some of your electrolytes?”).

Darius and Michael have been on either side of the Protection business for years, as delivered by dialogue seen in Trailer version #6, as well as in the Feature (“This man’s killed over 150 people!” “250 easy.”) Now, they must aside their differences to make it to trial at the International Court of Justice, before 5pm, so Darius can testify against the Antagonist, played by Gary Oldman.

Salma Hayek as Sonia Kincaid

If there is one actress who can start a scene in a medium shot, and keep it going, it’s Salma! (“What do you mean you lost my husband?”)

Why is she incarcerated? She even has a cellmate. These questions are answered as the film plays out.

Some production notes

This film was shot on multiple locations: London (exterior) and Blythe House (UK, for interiors), Street scenes in Plantage Kerklaan and Nieuwe Achtergracht, Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Sofia (Bulgaria).

Some movie trivia:

  • This is the second collaboration between Ryan and Samuel, the first being Turbo.
  • Salma and Joaquim worked previously in Desperado.
  • While filming an action scene in Amsterdam (where a Porsche Cayenne is shown crashing into a Smart vehicle, and pushing it in the water), social media channels re-interpreted the video-gone-viral, and the story then changed to it being a stolen car in a real chase. A Big thank You to Second Unit Teams for doing a great job, as what was staged actually was perceived as being real. Again, not much different than some of my male friends who were there, when JB #5’s long action sequence on Las Vegas’ night-time strip was being shot; my guy friends said it looked real, and were going over to help, until they realized that it was part of Jason Bourne. As bystanders, they said “it was jaw dropping.”

More films please

For this Opening Weekend’s Free Screening, the audience and myself had a great time! The reaction to highs and lows during the film story was right on the mark. Post-film discussion comments included:

  • Don’t forget “The Seatbelt Rule.”
  • Use of the MF word throughout the film. (All audience members were warned of its R rating, prior to the film’s start)
  • The audience members cackled throughout the film, as it was pretty humorous. Personally, I felt it was a tight script, well edited and overall a fun time. Earning the film 4 out of 5 Pineapple Points.

While reconnecting with my friends at Ward Cinemas 16 on Tuesday, September 22nd, while viewing Logan Lucky, Ticket Taker Steven said “Everyone’s complaining about the film. But, you know what? They’re all in there!” This means the attendees were in Screen #7 on Mahalo Tuesdays, which is one of Consolidated Theatres’ value days; the other days are Mondays and Wednesdays. So, it’s Mahalo for three days of the week. And, at Ward and Olino theatres, on these days, there are $2 regular length hotdogs and $2 kid-sized popcorn.

With any theatre chain on Oahu, if a Holiday falls on the same day as Value Day, normal pricing prevails. The Regal Theatre Group was really good about posting signs at all of their theatres (i.e. Dole’s 18-plex and Windward’s 10-plex), so thank you to the management for letting the Movie Public know in advance. Another example would be normal pricing at Ward’s 16-plex for Labor Day weekend, which fell on a Monday, so Mahalo Monday value pricing did not apply.

If you’re in doubt, just ask a member of management, or email me, and I would be happy to reply to your inquiry.

I’ll be entering another busy season for Fall movies. Keep following along with the Hubs, and until the next film review, take care, Pam

© 2017 Pam Freeman


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