Saturday, February 17, 2018

Movie Reviews: The Hitman's Bodyguard

The Hitman's Bodyguard
directed by Patrick Hughes
This movie is a generic action flick of the buddy film variety. Two bada$$es with utterly different professional and personal styles (and occasionally moralities) are against their will thrown together to battle against the world. One's country; the other one's a little bit rock-n-roll. One never loses his temper; the other one has no constraints on his id. One is quiet and exacting; the other one is a hyperactive extroverted motormouth. One's a slob; the other spends all of his money on exquisitely tailored British and Italian suits, when he's not getting a pedicure, that is. One is weak in an area where the other is strong and vice versa. One's an experienced ladies man or successful husband; the other is too scared to approach the woman of his dreams. One's... well you get the idea. There are far too many movies to mention which use these themes:Tango and Cash, Rush Hour, Bad Boys, 48 hrs, Midnight Run, yada, yada, yada. 

The not so dynamic duo may squabble with each other throughout the film. They will almost certainly fight each other. Usually the fight is a draw or is interrupted somehow. But when the chips are down the two men discover that they aren't so different after all and team up to take down the Big Bad who made the unfortunate mistake of trying to harm one or both of the men and/or their love interests. 

How you feel about The Hitman's Bodyguard depends entirely on how much you enjoy that storyline. It really doesn't veer from that. So if you decide to watch this movie just know that large portions of it aren't supposed to make sense. Just watch and laugh. Of course a great deal of the movie's humor comes from adult themes. So if violence offends you, if bad language offends you, if Salma Hayek in tight or low cut clothing offends you then this is not a film for you. Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is a (formerly) top rated bodyguard for the rich, famous and occasionally infamous. Bryce doesn't ask about his clients' religious beliefs, sexual mores, criminal records, or future intentions. Bryce's only interest is in keeping the people who hire him alive for the duration of his contract. He will kill if he has to do this. Bryce was very good at this job. That is Bryce was good at it until one day two years ago when just after he told his team that everything was fine, his client was shot in the head from over 300 yards away. 

The resulting brouhaha saw Bryce lose his relationship with his Interpol agent girlfriend Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung), because he thought she gave information to the wrong people (i.e. Interpol). Obviously no one wants to pay top money for a bodyguard that loses clients so Bryce has fallen on semi-hard times financially. Bryce is obsessed with regaining his reputation and getting back to the bodyguard big leagues. He also wouldn't mind starting things up again with Amelia.

The former dictator of Belarus, Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) has been extradited to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes and murder. However Dukhovich still has a large base of loyalists whom he has been using to murder any and all witnesses. No witnesses, no case. There's only one witness left alive who can provide testimony regarding Dukhovich's crimes. That witness is one Darius Kincaid (Samuel Jackson), an incarcerated hitman who has run up a body count that would make Murder Inc. blanch. Kincaid's only apparent weakness is his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek). Kincaid was lured into a trap because he thought Sonia was in danger; he agrees to testify only if Interpol releases the also imprisoned Sonia. 

When Amelia and her fellow Interpol agents set out to transport Kincaid to The Hague, they are attacked. Everyone but Amelia and Kincaid is killed. Barely escaping, Amelia realizes that there's a traitor in Interpol. Her mission is compromised. Amelia knows that Bryce (1) really wants a big success to put his name back out there among the bodyguard elite and (2) still has feelings for her and can't say no to her requests. 

Amelia asks Bryce to make sure that Kincaid gets to The Hague while she tries to find the mole in her organization. It turns out that Kincaid and Bryce already know each other. They don't like each other. And during their sojourn Bryce and Kincaid will find many more reasons, some serious, some silly as to why they REALLY don't like each other. Bryce tends to think that if people would stick to his plan everything would work out for everyone, most importantly,him. As far as Bryce is concerned, nothing is ever his fault. Kincaid likes to improvise, and never tells Bryce what his next move is going to be. This film has a lot of dark comedy, tons of bullets and plenty of cursing. It also has good chemistry between the two leads. Of course both men do riffs off of these character types in many of their films so it probably wasn't too much of a stretch to their acting abilities but hey do you want to watch a boring film filled with great acting or an exciting film that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Hayek flirts with stereotypes as the pint sized foul mouthed sexy Latina who is pound for pound at least as dangerous as her husband and definitely more unstable. Despite appearances Kincaid and Sonia are extremely devoted to one another. Unlike the cynical and depressed Bryce, Kincaid is a romantic who believes in enjoying life to the fullest. Although the movie isn't super dark it nonetheless raises some moral questions. Is someone who murders murderers and thugs worse than someone who earns a living protecting them. Hmm.

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