The Hitman’s Bodyguard utilises the refurbished star power of Ryan Reynolds and the always entertaining demeanor of Samuel L. Jackson to offer up your standard summer cash-grab.
It’s not hard to notice that this film doesn’t have any defining traits, two men fight bad guys and try to survive, there’s really not much else to it. And yes, this movie didn’t excel in anything in particular, but with that said it can have some entertaining moments. It’s a stretch to say the movie was “entertaining”, as the most eyebrow-raising moments encompass Jackson swearing at Reynolds or laughing at Reynolds, these moments are few are far between but it’s probably more than I expected from a movie of this calibre.
So we have a man that kills people for money (Samuel L. Jackson) and a man that protects people for money (Ryan Reynolds), both characters are relatively two-dimensional and offer little depth when it comes to trained killers in an action flick. They can both have their rare moments that relieve you from the flat storyline for just a moment, but just as the banter stops you’re then thrown back into the mixing bowl of a grating story with minimal payoff. In terms of performances Jackson doing what he does best (e.g. saying motherfucker really loudly) is the central point of his character, he’s the wisecracking hitman that prefers to go in guns blazing and Jackson handles it in his usual fashion. His performance is usually stable enough and this film was no exception. Though Reynolds gets the short end of the stick as his character acts far more serious throughout as an efficient and calculated “bodyguard”. There’s a fair balance of comedy and I don’t think the film could have handled both characters cracking jokes every 10 seconds, as Reynolds comedic style might remind people a little too much of another character he plays; it’s probably for the best that Jackson took the reigns.
I didn’t expect anything grand from the visuals department but this film had extreme peaks, some of the more practical hand-to-hand combat was admirable while the firefights and CGI backdrops were astoundingly bad at times. I have to say this though, the lighting in this film is among some of the worst I’ve ever seen, just outrageously bad. We get maybe one or two scenes in the entire film that have creativity behind it, that’s about where it peaks in quality for its stunt choreography.
If you enter any summer action flick like this and expect wit, depth, or charm you’re going to leave feeling like an idiot, nobody expects these films to be good, but it’s sometimes nice to see directors, writers, and actors come together to create something special; all I can say is, you’ve gotta have some rotten apples to appreciate the fresh ones. The Hitman’s Bodyguard doesn’t quite hit its target with comedy and general film-making finesse, however it has the small potential to keep you watching long enough to see the lead characters interact in a fairly comedic way.