Stop me if you’ve heard this one, a guy who’s more by the books has to team up with a loose cannon to do something resulting in an action comedy.
Yes, the Hitman’s Bodyguard is your basic buddy comedy, albeit one carrying a hard ‘R’ rating. The movie follows Michael (Ryan Reynolds), a bodyguard who’s extremely skilled, but has been disgraced after a job went wrong.
He’s forced into protecting a hitman, Darius (Samuel L. Jackson), who’s supposed to give a testimony against a brutal leader charged with war crimes. The two of course don’t get along but end up having to work together to make it through alive.
So, if you’re a connoisseur of action comedies, you’ve pretty much seen “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” and can guess what will happen beat-for-beat. Occasionally, the movie will throw some wrenches in the proverbial gears that make your typical action-comedy click, catching the audience off guard in the process with a clever joke. Making a few gags about a some obvious clichés is a prime example.
However, it’s still very predictable and it never gets to the point where the movie actually becomes self-aware enough to have some great comedy. As a result, it still comes across as an average action comedy at the end of the day. There are some points here and there that the movie also becomes a little too serious, making for clashing tones.
Additionally, the flick goes on way too long, clocking in at nearly two hours. This is most apparent at a point when the film seems to reach its logical conclusion, but just keeps going instead.
The film’s greatest strength is its leads, which carry the movie through some of its lulls. Jackson and Reynolds bring so much charisma and energy that they manage to breathe some life into what’s going on. Jackson especially seemed to be having a lot of fun with the role, creating some good moments.
The rest of the cast is largely forgettable, though. Salma Hayek plays a character whose quirks gets old rather quick and Elodie Yung portrays a love interest for Reynolds that doesn’t hold much weight. The largest waste here, though, was Gary Oldman, who was playing an entirely stock villain with very little in actual characteristics.
The action wasn’t exactly special, either. So many of the fight scenes had quick editing, with a lot of cuts making it difficult to see what exactly was going on.
Does “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” have some jokes that work? Sure, and the combo of Reynolds and Jackson do bring some good energy and humor to the mix. However, so much of the story and humor has been done before and the action isn’t special. 2.75 out of 5.