August is typically where the bad movies of the summer go to die. But some rise to the top and stand out among the late summer flops. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is one of those movies. It’s the buddy-cop action-comedy you need, with no cops in it. It’s full of action, all the funny you want, and it’s a real treat spending time with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. This is a great summer movie to end the summer with.
Reynolds plays Michael Bryce, a triple A-rated executive protection agent who has been tasked with guarding the life of Darius Kincaid, Jackson, one of the world’s most notorious hitmen. Bryce must take Kincaid from the United Kingdom to the International Court of Justice. On their way, they must fight, escape and work together to stop deadly assassins who are on their trail the whole trip. They’re forced to work together in order to defeat a ruthless bloodthirsty Eastern European dictator, Vladislav Dukhovich, played my Gary Oldman.
Of course along the way the comedy and action is non-stop. Reynolds and Jackson are pros, and without them this would have been another standard action flick. But adding these two fan favorites just made it that much better. They have great chemistry on screen and you can’t wait to see what new argument they’re about to get into. It’s over the top fun and hilarious. They knew exactly what kind of movie they made.
Kincaid’s wife, Sonia, is played by Salma Hayek. She is funny, strong and has a mouth on her that would make a sailor blush: a perfect match for Sam Jackson’s character. Playing Bryce’s ex-girlfriend and Interpol agent is Elodie Yung. She’s a tough as nails, by the book agent who is tasked with keeping Kincaid alive, but when she fears a mole has infiltrated the ranks she needs to turn to her ex, Bryce. The character works well into the story and is a great agent. No damsels in distress in this movie.
Gary Oldman! Not in the movie a ton, but when he’s there…. He. Is. There. Always giving it 100% and turning a solid performance no matter how small the role is. He is one of the best actors when you need a really good villain portrayed
The filmmakers’ ramp up the exaggerated action and comedy from the start. Most of the comedy comes from Jackson basically yelling and making fun of Reynolds. Which is what you went to see. Jackson is in his usual form: dropping F-bombs pretty much every tenth word. Lets be honest, that’s why we went. We love watching Jackson do his thing. And the same can be said for Ryan. It’s like watching Nick Fury just yell at Deadpool for two hours.
There are few major issues with the flick, and it’s not plot or story. It’s with the filmmaking itself. Not knowing if it was director Patrick Hughes or cinematographer Jules O’Loughlin decisions, but this movie looks terrible. There is absolutely no tone. Lighting and camera lens change within scenes. One second it’s an action scene, bright and full of color, then a second later so dark you can’t see. Not sure if something was wrong with the theater or this is just someone’s great idea for lighting. Movie lighting should never be noticeable unless you’re making a mood or it’s bad. And there was no mood set here, this is just bad lighting.
And then there’s the overuse of the soft focus lens, a visual effect that gives the appearance of blurring the image while retaining sharp edges. When done right it looks great, but here is a perfect example of how not to do it. When it’s not an action scene everyone looks like they glow, like a terrible version of JJ’s lens flares, but like turned up to 1000. It pulls your eyes out of the movie completely. It looks awful and never once fit the mood or tone of the film. Being honest, this was very hard to watch. Thank goodness for the performances to keep the investment. These are film student 101 mistakes. At this high of a budget and with this cast of talent, these mistakes are unacceptable.
The movie is very basic. It’s not breaking any mold and it’s kind of what you’d expect from a movie like this. But it’s very entertaining and a fun night out. This is a treat and pure fun. And during a summer with massive wins and lots of flops it’s nice to see a small movie like this come out just to enjoy.