The Hitman’s Bodyguard

GoMovieReviews Rating:
Rated: MA15+The Hitman's Bodyguard

Directed by: Patrick Hughes

Written by: Tom O’Connor

Produced by: John Thompson, Matt O’Toole, Les Weldon, Mark Gill

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, and Salma Hayek, Elodie Yung, Joaquim De Almeida, Kirsty Mitchell, with Richard E. Grant.

Darius Kincaid: Well, when life gives you shit, you make Kool-Aid.
Michael Bryce: Life doesn’t usually give you shit and then turn into a beverage.

When Triple A rated executive protection agent, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) loses or should I say, watches in disbelief as his client is shot by a seemingly impossible bullet in front of him, his life falls from living the dream, like, right up there, to right down there: escorting coked-up stock brokers.

It’s a wasted talent.

So, when super-hitman, Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) is put under witness protection so he can testify against, Vladslav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), an Eastern European fallen dictator for crimes against humanity, it’s up to Bryce to get him to court alive.

If only Kincaid hadn’t tried to kill Bryce 28 times and wasn’t a complete pain in the arse.

The Hitman's Bodyguard

The Hitman’s Bodyguard uses that old-school formula of two guys who annoy the crap out of each other, leading to funny one-liners in between the explosive action of car, boat and motorbike chases to jumping from buildings gracefully or being ejected through a car windscreen.

There’s loads of action here and plenty of gun fights and bloody bits – a surprising amount of blood and swearing.

But the bromance/comedy/action formula is a classic one and works well if you’ve got the right cast, such as Ryan Reynolds versus Samuel L. Jackson.

It was interesting between Jackson and Reynolds because they’re both strong leads. Yet, they worked well with two very different characters bouncing off the other – Bryce (Reynolds) completely unfazed by the intensity that was Samuel L. Jackson as Kincaid which added to the comedy.

Ryan Reynold’s deadpan facial expressions of disbelief and perfectly timed deliveries were what really made the film for me.
The Hitman's Bodyguard

I can understand why the script written by Tom O’Connor was immediately sold as it’s a lot of fun, particularly with so many cars getting blown up (being more of an action entertainer then a thought provoker) but there’s enough development of the characters to create a satisfying emotional tone, so it’s not all just superficial explosions, there’s also a roundness to Kincaid and Bryce that develops as the relationship progresses.  And thankfully not sappy try-hard, but believable, funny and a bit cute with hard-arse Kincaid giving Bryce love advice.

Director, Patrick Hughes, who’s becoming an experienced hand at superstar casted action flicks (think The Expendables 3 (2014)) has put together a well-balanced and entertaining film.  And I was happy to leave the cinema with a grin.

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Kong: Skull Island

GoMovieReviews Rating:
Rated: MKong: Skull Island

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Produced By: Thomas Tull, Mary Parent, Jon Jashni and Alex Garcia

Executive Producers: Eric McLeod and Edward Cheng

Screenplay: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly

Story By: John Gatins

Visual Effects Supervisor: Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, John C. Reily, Tian Jing, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Ortiz, Thomas Mann, Shea Whigham, Tody Kebbell, Eugene Cordero, Terry Notary.

A prequel to the story of King Kong (who first appeared on film in 1933) Kong: Skull Island is about the origins of Kong; hinting at a past battle on an island hidden from the world by a never-ending storm.

Set in the ‘70s just as the Vietnam War is ending, scientist Bill Randa (John Goodman) takes a team to Skull Island to explore the possibility of MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms).  Enlisting a military escort headed by Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), this group of humans have no idea about the bizarre creatures they’re about to meet… or get eaten by…

The production team who created the 2014 film Godzilla have reunited here and some of the creatures on Skull Island reminded me of the Godzilla film, particularly those scary skull lizard creatures AKA Skull Crawlers.  But there’s a better story here.  Skull Island is more than the creatures and special effects although it was sometimes a close thing with the dialogue falling flat at times. 

There’s a touch of fun with the 70s soundtrack and humour in the script but some of the jokes didn’t quite come off.  The times when the film took itself too seriously were worse.  Where the sincerity was just too much to swallow, losing that suspension and ruining the fantasy.  But really, this was rare in the film which is a minor miracle when dealing with a MonsterVerse.

Samuel L. Jackson with those grouchy looks plays the villain well.  And Tom Hiddleston as James Conrad, the hero, was believable as the British solider turned mercenary tracker – there’s a fantastic cast here.  The highlight for me was John C. Reilly as the stranded WWII solider Hank Marlow.  Now this guy was funny.  And a great way to get the audience on side.

The Visual Effects team have given Kong some magic that make it seem there’s thought and emotion behind those eyes.  And to really give the film that authentic flavour, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong being his second feature film) and the team film those beautiful tropical landscapes at real locations around the world: Oahu, Hawaii, the Gold Coast in Australia and Ha Long Bay (amongst others) in Vietnam.

There was some good action here and some tense moments with a conflict set up between those for Kong and those against. The script gives a bit of meat (ha, ha) to the story and there’s some good blood and guts with a setting that lives and breathes as an undiscovered world to frame Kong’s origins.

Great film to see on the big screen.