“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” (R)
Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson breathe some much needed life back into the summer movie season with “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” a high-octane action comedy that isn’t exactly original, but very entertaining nonetheless.
The plot is relatively straight-forward – Reynolds plays Michael Bryce, a down-on-his-luck executive protection agent (which is a fancy name for a bodyguard) who is called upon to transport one of the world’s most notorious hitmen in the world, Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) to an international court of law to testify against brutal Russian dictator (the always great Gary Oldman). But since the dictator could be put away for life, he’s doing everything possible to make sure Kincaid gets dead before he has a chance to testify.
There’s no doubt that “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” has a “Midnight Run” feel to it – Bryce and Kincaid are constantly squabbling, mainly because the hitman has tried to kill Bryce 27 times before – yet the film still manages to hit the mark on many levels. To start, it has great chemistry between the Reynolds and Jackson and a great supporting cast (including Hayek as Kincaid’s wife and “Daredevil” and “The Defenders” star Elodie Yung as an Interpol agent who has a romantic past with Bryce), to intense action and thrills, and hilarious, mother F-bomb-dominated dialogue.
Interview: Elodie Yung talks ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’
While we’ve seen these characters from Reynolds and Jackson before, they’re both outrageously entertaining in the film. Reynolds is great at the wiseass thing and it’s certainly the best thing Jackson has done in a long time (can anyone say the mother F-bomb better?). But as good as the actors are in the movie, the person who nearly steals the show is Hayek, who as Kincaid’s kindred spirit is laugh-out-loud funny as she throws out the mother F-bombs in a fast and furious manner.
Topping off “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is the expert direction by Patrick Hughes, whose biggest credit before this was “The Expendables 3.” He really puts together some dazzling, action sequences, sometimes that reminds me of the elaborate chase stuff you’d see in a James Bond movie. All told, the film is hardly a dull exercise in action filmmaking. Everybody is clearly putting effort into this movie, and it shows.
Lammometer: 7.5 (out of 10)
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