REVIEW: Don’t bother with ‘Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’

If you like yelling, and I mean a lot of yelling, then this is the movie for you.

Ryan Reynolds returns to the role of bodyguard Michael Bryce in this sequel. Because of his actions in the first film, though, he’s lost his status as a AAA bodyguard. To escape the stress of the situation, he decides to take his therapist’s advice and go on vacation.

Unfortunately it’s all quickly interrupted when Sonia (Salma Hayek), wife of hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) approaches him. Turns out, Darius was kidnapped and Sonia needs Michael’s assistance in the rescue. The whole situation gets the trio mixed up in an evil plot to devastate Europe, and they’re recruited by government agents to help stop it.

“Wife’s Bodyguard” decides to drop these three characters in a rather generic spy-story, complete with what’s basically a James Bond villain, albeit a C-grade one. While the protagonists do have to go on the run again, there’s less of the ‘bodyguard protection’ concept that was at least somewhat unique in the first film.

In this sequel, there’s this whole added element of Antonio Banderas’ villain character holding a grudge against Europe because of Greece’s economic state. It all feels like the movie is overstuffed with a forgettable story.

It’s true, some sequels can get away with having a lackluster story, because hey, at least it’s a chance to spend more time with these characters. The problem is these characters aren’t exactly lovable. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

This trio is honestly exhausting, with two thirds of the main protagonists constantly yelling. Here’s the thing, characters who get loud for certain reasons can be funny, but people simply being loud isn’t inherently funny.

This is especially true with Jackson, who can give a great performance with the right material but he only has a few good lines in this. The same is true for Hayek, whose character constantly seems to yell.

hitmanwifeguardblog
Courtesy Lionsgate.

It doesn’t help that the two don’t exactly have the best chemistry to make their relationship endearing. Additionally, when not shouting about something, Darius is just recycling old jokes about Reynold’s character from the last movie while Sonia complains about the difficulties in trying to start a family.

The latter joke is basically that it would be hard to raise a family with a hitman, and it gets tired pretty quick.

When it comes to Michael, it feels like Reynolds is just playing his regular comedy character. The character here doesn’t seem that different than the one he played in “R.I.P.D.” It’s not a bad thing just letting Reynolds be himself on camera, but like the other performers here, the material needs to be far stronger.

The main bit of comedy around his character seems outdated, too. Basically, the joke is Michael went to therapy and learned coping mechanisms. That’s what’s supposed to be funny, that he talked to a psychologist and is trying to work on his mental health. Following his session, his coping mechanisms are mocked and his therapist even gets attacked, and it’s all supposed to be funny apparently.

I don’t think certain things should be off limits comedy-wise, either. However, it should at least be more clever than “hurr-durr, tough guy goes to therapy.”

The handling of characters is rather odd in this movie too. The film introduces an Interpol agent played by Frank Grillo who has a goal of succeeding in this case and getting back to Boston.

His character is even given a partner who he gives a nickname to. Then, the duo basically disappears for most of the movie. Why introduce these characters if you’re just going to waste them?

This review has certainly been negative but this movie isn’t a worst of the year contender. It’s just so woefully below average, though. There are a few funny moments and some action sequences that salvages the score a tiny bit. Overall, this one goes to a 2 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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