THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD doesn’t come out till next Friday, August 18th, but I got to see it yesterday and I have to say that it was a nice, funny and fun, pleasant, late summer surprise. Earlier in Ryan Reynold’s career he was mostly hit and miss. Waiting, The Proposal, Safe House, Van Wilder, and Smokin’ Aces being his hits, and then everything else plus Green Lantern being huge misses. After Deadpool, I have a feeling he is being a little careful about picking his projects. Yeah, I wasn’t a fan of Life but he was good for the little time he was in it. And now there is this film, which is like Smokin’ Aces mixed with Midnight Run mixed with about any buddy cop movie you have ever seen. And it works. It’s heavy on violence and language, but it is also light and very funny. August is sometimes considered a dumping ground for end of Summer movies, but sometimes we get a nice little treat snuck in there, and this is it.
The joke with Samuel L. Jackson being in every movie ever made is almost no longer a joke. How many movies has he been in this year alone? But you have to praise a movie that has Samuel L. Jackson say “motherfucker” more than any other movie he has ever been in combined. Make no mistake, the film uses its R rating to its advantage, throwing most of the punches except for nudity (which the film did not need). Obviously, the plot is simple to make way for the laughs. Samuel L. Jackson is a hit man that has some very damning evidence again a former Russian country president that is currently on trial for his wicked ways. So far all of the witnesses for this trial have been killed or discredited. They make a deal with Samuel L. Jackson that if he testifies they will free his wife, played by Salma Hayek (who steals every scene she’s in here). All Interpol has to do is get Jackson to the trial…with a bunch of bad guys/assassins/what have you in between them to stop them at any costs. Enter Ryan Reynolds as a former elite bodyguard trying to comeback from disgrace for a botched protection job a few years earlier…and hilarity, non stop action, and “motherfuckers” ensue.
This film is almost two hours, and some probably could’ve been shaved off, but I liked that the film took its time. We get to know the characters throughout the whole movie and they aren’t one dimensional and are well rounded. The way Ryan Reynolds enters the picture to protect Jackson is hilarious while still being a bit cliched obvious. But like I’ve said in some past reviews, sometimes it isn’t about the plot or destination. It is about the journey. And it is one hell of a journey. The director of this has certainly come back into my good graces, having previously directed the abysmal Expendables 3, with good hard hitting action, good direction, and earned laughs. Now while some of the action effects are a bit shaky, particularly towards the end, all is forgiven as it doesn’t lose the fun at the same time.
I could watch Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds argue in a room for two hours. Without them, the movie wouldn’t have been near that good. Selma Hayek hasn’t been this funny since Dogma. And for some reason Gary Oldman is in this (paycheck) but even with a limited amount to do (he is locked up the entire time) he still brings his A game. If you are looking for a complicated plot with this film, don’t, as you’ll be highly disappointed. It is very simple and very cliched. It has almost every action cliche in the book and uses the age old foreshadowing with dialogue and what not. But it doesn’t lose any fun. If you are looking for a “buddy cop hitman assassin bodyguard action packed road trip movie” to bask in at the end of summer, you can do no wrong going to see this.