ReelBob: ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ ★★
By Bob Bloom
“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is a typical high-octane, explosive and violent buddy-action film that adds nothing new to the genre.
Every step of the movie — from its opening sequence to its fiery finale — is pre-ordained and predictable.
You always are minutes ahead of the storyline, which goes from London to the Netherlands.
“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” stars Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, both of whom breeze through the movie, playing archetypes instead of characters.
Reynolds is Michael Bryce, the once-proud head of a prestigious protection agency, whose life goes down the toilet after one of his clients is assassinated.
Jackson is Darius Kincaid, a killer for hire who has a longtime connection to Bryce.
These are your standard opposites: Bryce is the methodical, uptight planner who prepares for every contingency. Kincaid is the go-with-the-flow, play-it-by-ear assassin who shoots first and talks later.
What forces these two adversaries to work together is the war-crimes trial of a dictatorial leader — Vladislav Dukhovic (a hammy Gary Oldman) — an Eastern European despot who has his henchmen kill anyone who can testify against him.
The remaining witness to Dukhovic’s atrocities is Kincaid and, after the armed escort taking him to The Hague to confront Dukhovic is attacked in London, Bryce is recruited by his former girlfriend — an Interpol agent — to protect Kincaid and get him to the Netherlands.
Nothing in “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is original nor surprising. This is a by-the-numbers action feature with the usual quota of fights, vehicle chases and explosions.
Between them, Reynolds and Jackson drop enough “F” bombs to eradicate North Korea.
Granted, the movie is fun to watch, but the stunt people and special effects teams deserve all the credit.
This is one of those movies in which the major players took the jobs to earn easy paychecks.
Probably Reynolds and Jackson were bored awaiting their next Marvel Cinematic Universe assignments, so decided to keep their action muscles toned by taking this gig.
“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” offers some laughs. It’s enjoyment in an exploitative kind of way, a simple boilerplate offering.
If you have two hours to waste, then “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” can keep you occupied.
Just don’t expect anything more than that.
I am a member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. My reviews appear at ReelBob (reelbob.com) and Rottentomatoes (www.rottentomatoes.com). I also review Blu-rays and DVDs. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ReelBobBloom. Links to my reviews can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD
2 stars out of 4
(R), bloody violence, language