Originally Published On Salty Popcorn
What happens when a man at the top of his game looses it all? That’s the question Ryan Reynolds’ charismatic bodyguard Michael Bryce finds himself asking when the movie begins. He was once a AAA bodyguard, working for the best of the best, but lost it all, including a stable relationship with his now ex-wife Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung), when a client was killed. Michael plummeted. He plummeted hard. But, when Amelia is all out of options, she calls in Michael to help go under the radar and protect a new, highly dangerous client the whole world is trying to kill.
THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD should have been great. You bring together an interesting, original-ish premise, pair it up with two of the best talents in Hollywood and release it for the world to see, and yet, for the first forty-five minutes, I was in agony. The jokes weren’t working. The plot fell flat. Every character annoyed me. This film failed to hit things off on a high note, and it had me genuinely worried for what was to come. Sure, a joke here or there got me chuckling, most of which felt like improvised banter, but the film wasn’t looking good.
You’d be surprised how many variations of the word these actors are able to come up with, but, when thrown alongside a number of “bitch please” insults along with other profanities, we get a diverse range of curse words culminating into an artistry of language. The plot is ridiculous. It works, but it’s ridiculous. However, it’s the actors who pull it through and make everything worthwhile, and I cannot give Reynolds and Jackson enough credit. The two share brilliant chemistry, bouncing off each other with more insults than I gave BAD SANTA 2 last year. Please let them appear in more films together, or at least a film where its 118-minute runtime doesn’t feel excruciatingly long.
Unfortunately, two brilliant lead actors aren’t enough to carry an entire film when every other department is severely lacking. If it weren’t for the actors, this film would be unbearable. Despite having an endless number of attractive leads, THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD manages to be the single ugliest film I have ever seen. Every shot is over exposed, most noticeably during the outside sequences where characters are consumed by the light. The framing itself is fine, I guess, but the lighting is on a whole other level of bad, constantly distracting the audience with its painful visuals. But then, out of nowhere, there’s this one, really random and unnecessary torture sequence that’s handled with grace and beauty and it looks fantastic.
I liked the THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD. Based on the 40% score it currently has on Rotten Tomatoes, it seems I liked it more than most. But there’s so much wrong with it, and the lead stars deserve something much better. Even Selma Hayek got dragged into this, and she’s given a mixed handful of really funny, witty writing and dumb, juvenile humour. But at the end of the day, this film has Samuel L. Jackson enthusiastically singing in a van full of very religious nuns who all hate Ryan Reynolds, and upon watching that, I discovered the reason why cinema was invented.
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