The Hitman’s Bodyguard

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a fairly formulaic action comedy that is full of over-the-top violence and rapid-fire comedic banter and whose main strength is the charisma of Ryan Reynolds and Sammy L. Jackson. Reynolds plays Michael Bryce, a once top-rated head of a bodyguard firm, who finds himself scraping by with any bodyguard job he can get after one of his high-powered clients is assassinated on his watch. However, he is called into action by his ex-girlfriend Amelia Roussel, played by Élodie Yung, serving as an Interpol agent tasked with protecting the notorious hitman Darius Kincaid, played by Samuel L. Jackson, who is a key witness in a war crimes trial against fictional former Belarus dictator Vladislav Dukhovich, played by Gary Oldman. Amelia recruits Bryce to ensure that Kincaid makes it from his prison in England to the International Criminal Court at The Hague despite the fact that both men hate each other as they have been fighting against one another over the past several years. En route to the witness stand, Interpol agents are ambushed and Bryce becomes the personal bodyguard to Kincaid, and they both encounter many assassins hired by Dukhovich who are subsequently dispatched in hyper-violent bloody killing sequences. All the while, Reynolds’ and Jackson’s characters are engaged in quick-witted and profane banter, predominantly about how they despise one another. As a parallel storyline, Kincaid is willing to be a witness in order to free his imprisoned and equally violent wife Sonia, played by the beautiful Salma Hayek, and he secretly calls her in the Interpol detention center in Amsterdam. Things rapidly devolve as they get closer and closer to The Hague as they are faced with increasingly lethal forces and even bombings. However, through their shared ordeal, both men begin to develop a friendship and desperately want to remain alive and reunite with their love interests. Overall, I found the film to be entertaining as a Hollywood summer blockbuster, but it never really elevated above the action comedy genre despite the attempts by the talented actors who exude unique and funny personalities.

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