The Hitman’s Bodyguard Movie Review

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A couple of months ago I had no idea that this movie was coming out, but after the first trailer was released online, The Hitman’s Bodyguard became one of my most anticipated movies of August. Obviously I love Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, so seeing them together in R-rated action movie was exciting! What pulled me in about the trailer was the tone. If we were going to get a foul-mouthed, adrenaline-pumped buddy movie that kept pace for the entire runtime, The Hitman’s Bodyguard was going to be awesome, so let’s see if it gave us what was advertised!

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is directed by Patrick Hughes and stars Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Elodie Young, and Salma Hayek. After falling from glory when his client is killed, one of the world’s best bodyguards has been reduced to protecting cocaine-fueled attorneys. He might have one more chance to climb his way back to the top through escorting a notorious hitman to the trial of an evil world leader to testify against his crimes. As easy as that may sound, they encounter plenty of guns, explosions, and minivans along the way to make it a difficult and deadly mission.

To start off, let’s talk about where this movie excels. The back-and-forth between Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson is amazing. Really, they’re playing characters they’re both famous for playing. Ryan Reynolds is playing Deadpool and Samuel L. Jackson is playing a guy who yells the f-word a lot. Really, it doesn’t seem like much acting is done here. Ryan Reynolds is Ryan Reynolds, and Samuel L. Jackson is Samuel L. Jackson. I wouldn’t say that takes away from the performances. I think it’s either great casting if the casting was based on the screenplay, or it’s great dialogue structure if the dialogue was created with these two actors already signed on. Together, they’re absolutely hilarious, and they made the movie great. I could sit in a room all day long and listen to them bicker back and forth, and by the end of the movie I was satisfied to have seen the two come together as a team. It’s pretty obvious from the start that the two don’t like each other, but through the arguing and clashing personalities, they start to get an understanding for one another, and this movie became somewhat heartwarming. I also think that the action is mostly well-directed. If you’re looking for over-the-top action sequences with characters doing things that the average person couldn’t do in real life, The Hitman’s Bodyguard may be for you. Sometimes seeing average characters in an action movie makes the movie better. John McClane is always praised for being the everyman who saved the day. In this case, I had enough fun seeing perfect fighters conveniently escape situations through well-directed action.

This movie isn’t going to give its audience anything special. There isn’t too much under the hood, and it doesn’t give us much to think about. It’s full of extremely convenient situations that perfectly play out for some thoughtless fun. There isn’t much depth to anything that happens or any of these characters, but you can still enjoy the action and the banter between Reynolds and Jackson. One aspect that I was extremely disappointed in was Gary Oldman’s character. Gary Oldman plays amazing villains, including one of my all-time favorites in Léon: The Professional, so I was excited to see him as a villain again. He gives a decent performance, but after that there’s nothing to him. There surely isn’t enough to him to give him the depth the finale intends to give him. In the finale, he sure seems important to the story, but looking back on the first hour and forty-five minutes, he carries no weight or importance other than just being there to be evil. He’s essentially a plot device to bring our two characters together, and nothing else, which is extremely disappointing given that an actor like Gary Oldman was brought in for the role. It also seems like more screen time could have been given to Oldman given how long this film is because I think that it could have easily been brought down to about 100 minutes or less. There is time to give depth to the two main characters, their mission, and the villain, but there’s tons and tons of filler that doesn’t necessarily make the film more entertaining.

Overall, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is enjoyable, but it’s enjoyable almost exclusively because of Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. There is definitely some good action, but without the two leads, this movie would probably crumble. There isn’t much depth to any of the characters or the story, and most plot points are conventional and convenient. I was really disappointed to see Gary Oldman wasted as the villain because we’ve seen him in so many great villainous roles. Other than being the plot device bringing the two main characters together, he serves a very small purpose until the film decides to make him important in the final fifteen minutes. The movie is funny, which I can assume is partially due to the improvisational talents of Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. Their characters have the exact personalities of their real  life selves, so I assume some direction was given but most dialogue was created on the spot. The chemistry and banter between the two worked, and the action is well-directed and entertaining, but there isn’t much to find beneath the surface. I’m going to give The Hitman’s Bodyguard a 4.8/10.

Will you be checking out The Hitman’s Bodyguard? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

About Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at [email protected]