The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017)
Signed up the 24/05/2017
The Hitman’s Bodyguard - starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson is a sign of the times. It’s bellbottom jeans worn in the era of slim fit chinos but boy do they make those bellbottoms look good. Helmed by The Expendables 3 director Patrick Hughes, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a heartfelt love letter to action comedies of old and much like every buddy cop action comedy lives and dies on the chemistry of its two leads (sight the Lethal Weapon franchise for reference) this screwball action comedy shines because of the foul-mouthed banter and chemistry between Nick Fury and Deadpool.
The plot of these movies are often very formulaic, two polar opposites are brought together because circumstances demand it and the comedy comes from their constant bickering. Eventually, they find common ground and come together against a comically outlandish villain and realize that they aren’t that different and this movie follows those tropes almost to the point of parody.
The world's top protection agent Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world's most notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson). Their mission is to reach the International Criminal Court so Kincaid can testify against merciless Eastern European dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman, who can play these roles in his sleep at this point). They only have 24 hours to travel from England to the Hague and hilarity ensues.
Much like bellbottom jeans look ridiculous in 2017, this movie is equally as ridiculous and it wears that ridiculousness as a badge of honor because it’s aware of what it is and that presents a great opportunity for some fun self-referential humor. Every minute of this movie is dedicated to entertaining the audience, from Gary Oldman playing a ridiculous villain that doesn’t do much besides snarl at the camera in a heap of prosthetic make up to Salma Hayek who plays Darius’s equally foul-mouthed Mexican wife Sonia Kincaid who we find it is the reason he decided to testify in the first place.
The film somehow manages to balance two romantic subplots between Darius and Soni, and Michael and Amelia Rousse (played by Élodie Yung who, after her turn as Elektra in the Netflix Daredevil series might start getting typecast in these action movies) - in between some of the most outrageous and over-the-top action set pieces since, well, The Expendables franchise.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is best enjoyed if thought of as a live-action cartoon and if for nothing else, come for Sam Jackson singing "Nobody Gets Out Alive” an original R-Rated gospel song that he wrote and performed for the film’s original soundtrack that features the lyrics “Life is a highway and it's mighty fucking long”. There’s food for thought.
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