Film Review: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
Director: Patrick Hughes
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Grillo, Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas, Tom Hopper, Richard E. Grant, Caroline Goodall
Running Time: 100
Australian Distributor: Roadshow Films
When The Hitman’s Bodyguard released in 2017, it became a solid enough action-comedy hit to warrant a sequel, which is now hitting theatres in the form of Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. The original’s creative team returns with Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3) directing from a script by Tom O’Connor (The Courier). Like The Hitman’s Bodyguard before it, the sequel largely acts as a vehicle for its stars to show off their chops as action and comedy powerhouses – and all three leads excel in their roles. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is another fine action-comedy, made more fun by Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek’s performances.
After the events of the original movie, former Triple-A rated bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds) is in therapy to work through his issues. At the suggestion of his therapist, Michael goes on sabbatical to avoid bodyguarding, guns and violence. However, he’s roped back into it by Sonia Kincaid (Hayek), who requires his help to save her husband Darius Kincaid (Jackson) from someone he wronged in the past. In doing so, though, the three get pulled into an Interpol investigation by Bobby O’Neill (Frank Grillo) and are commissioned to help prevent an attack on the entirety of Europe by Aristotle Papadopolous (Antonio Banderas). Along the way to thwart the attack, they seek the help of Senior (Morgan Freeman), who has ties to Michael’s past. But with Michael’s needs in conflict with Sonia and Darius, who want to start a family, the trio risk doing more harm than good, especially since they don’t even get along very well.
Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is overall a perfectly serviceable action-comedy, effectively balancing its two genres well. But like The Hitman’s Bodyguard, the movie’s strength is really in its stars, with Jackson and Reynolds buoying the first film with their enemies-to-buddies storyline and near-constant quips. Adding a fresh element to Michael and Darius’ dynamic for the sequel is the proper addition of Sonia, who was introduced in the first film but wasn’t a core member of the team. Whereas Reynolds and Jackson both play somewhat of an amalgamation of other characters they’ve played in the past – with Reynolds as the smart-mouthed funny guy and Jackson the foul-mouthed action guy – Hayek is the wild card. Her character is focused on having a baby and becoming a mother, even as she’s losing her temper and starting a gunfight in a nightclub. It’s not necessarily the most original concept for a character, but Hayek excellently rounds out the dynamic created by Reynolds and Jackson, with all three delivering performances that nail both the action and the comedy. At least Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard knows its strengths are in the talent behind the characters, which allows them to steal the spotlight and ensure viewers aren’t distracted by the story.
Overall, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a fine continuation of the franchise, bringing back Reynolds and Jackson for another action-comedy romp, this time made somewhat fresh by the addition of Hayek in a main role. The action of the movie is decent enough, though none of it is necessarily memorable, with the sequel perhaps shining more as a comedy thanks to the talents of Reynolds and Hayek in particular.
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