The “Hitman’s Bodyguard” is the type of movie that you see when your first or maybe even second film option at the theater is sold out, that you are shockingly surprised that you enjoyed.
The formula for the film is pretty basic one rule-breaking wildcard character (Samuel L. Jackson’s hitman Darius Kincaid) and the other an uptight, by-the-book character (Ryan Reynolds’ bodyguard Michael Bryce). So as you could guess the film forces the two opposite personalities together, and they must find a way to get along to make it to the end of the film.
Bryce a former top bodyguard who slips from the top option after he allows a high-profile client died on his watch. Kincaid a criminal that is temporarily released from jail to be a case winning witness in a trial against Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman). A corrupt dictator of Belarus. Bryce is given the job of protecting Kincaid, getting him to the trial safely but they are pursued by Dukhovich’s men.
You are somewhat paying just to see Jackson and Reynolds trade insults back and forth, and yet for “Hitman’s Bodyguard” it works wonderfully. Jackson and Reynolds’ chemistry makes them a dynamically odd couple. At many points in the film, you stop really seeing them as characters and just exaggerated versions of Jackson and Reynolds, which for this film surprisingly works.
The solid action scenes are very surprising especially the impressive scene with Jackson in a boat and Reynolds on a motorcycle, it combines stunning visuals with comedy. Another standout scene I am sure we all loved in which Jackson casually walks through the streets of Amsterdam as Reynolds quietly and efficiently (and entertainingly) takes out the various assassin’s trying to kill Jackson.
There are also romantic subplots (that shine for the romantic in all of us) that bring the characters closer together. Bryce is busy trying to smooth things over with an ex-girlfriend (Elodie Yung). While Kincaid agrees to be a witness to free his incarcerated wife (Selma Hayek).
Playful fighting between Jackson and Reynolds paired with graphic violence, creates a pretty eventful film. So we have a film that is a bit schizophrenic but hits all the things a decent film should. One moment it is a buddy comedy, the next it is a hard-edged action drama. Both parts work very well yet comedy is the standout part of the film.
Through it all though, Jackson and Reynolds give great performances, both together and individually. “Hitman’s Bodyguard” is an easy recommendation for anyone to see.