Five years ago, Ryan Reynolds starred in a film called Safe House, where he was a CIA agent whose goal was to protect the life of Denzel Washington, an intentional criminal who everyone wants dead because of what he knows. So when I saw the trailer for The Hitman’s Bodyguard my first reaction was “Didn’t they already make this movie?” Ah, but you see, the difference is this movie is a comedy…yeah. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is about Ryan Reynolds, this time an AAA-rated bodyguard who is down on his luck after failing his first mission ever who stumbles on a job protecting an old adversary, Samuel L. Jackson, a seasoned hitman who is scheduled to testify against the former Dictator of Belarus. With an entire city trying to stop them from making the trial, Jackson and Reynolds play a pseudo buddy cop action/comedy so they can both regain what they lost in the last few years. The end result…meh.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a hit or miss comedy with a couple good action sequences as well as some pretty ridiculous pain tolerance displayed by our lead actors…oh and Salma Hayek is in it for all of 5 minutes, that’s the film in a nutshell. More thought is put into the action scenes than the script that’s for sure. The actors basically try to one-liner their way through the film, but you can only get so many laughs out of the word motherfucker before you realize you don’t have much to work with. The film suffers the most when it can’t decide if it wants to be a comedy or an action film. Outside of Samuel L Jackson, who is almost 100% comedy, everybody else plays the film completely straight including some scenes of kids being killed which I’m sure is not going to make anyone chuckle even if those kids are as bad as the ones in Telltale’s Walking Dead.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard works as an action movie but is constantly dragged down by the need to also be a comedy. If this film could figure out what it wanted to identify as today, this may have been a better result for everyone involved.