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 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.
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.