‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ is a buddy action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds (Michael Bryce) as a bodyguard tasked with protecting one of the most notorious hitmen Darius Kincaid (played by Samuel L Jackson) from the mercenaries out to kill him. I was looking forward to seeing this movie for a number of reasons, the main one being it’s an original action comedy starring two great actors with unique personalities that would make for some very entertaining exchanges. But this is yet another case of an interesting premise turning into a disappointing product. Apart from some good back and forth moments between the two of them the movie is bogged down by a generic plot, very familiar action cliches, and romances you don’t really care about. When it becomes a Jackson and Reynolds road trip flick there is some pretty entertaining content, but whenever the film focuses on the plot surrounding Gary Oldman’s dictator character it becomes a predictable and shockingly familiar movie.
The main plot is something you could no doubt write in a day with little to no effort. And seeing as though it is written by a Tim O’Connor, a guy with only one other writing credit to his name i can understand why it turned out the way it did. From the first 20 minutes when everything is established you can pick out every key plot point for the rest of the film and it will no joke play out exactly as you thought. As for the side plots that don’t play into the main plot in any way that warrants their existence in the film. Salma Hayek has her own side plot as Jackson’s wife and Elodie Yung has her place as Reynolds’ Ex fling, both are lightly featured throughout the movie and really only serve the purpose of giving each character their own romantic journey that you don’t care about and wasn’t at all necessary.
The Patrick Hughes directed film tries to ride off Jackson and Reynolds’ chemistry but unfortunately as funny as some of their banter is, it isn’t enough to make this an enjoyable ride. There are some moments between the two leads that provide very good laughs and are naturally developing funny moments. When you get the quick, witty, smart-ass personality of Reynolds clashing with the loud, obnoxious, sarcastic traits of Jackson there is a good time to be had. But whenever the two of them are separated or other side plots are being focused on it just doesn’t hold up nearly as well. With a generic plot that goes exactly where you expect it to go with most action cliches playing some sort of role the only thing you can get out of this is the comedy.
So in the end, despite the many criticisms i have with the film it doesn’t do anything particularly wrong, it’s just all borrowed from better action comedies from the past. The only thing it has going for it is the comedy between Jackson and Reynolds which works most of the time. Elodie Yung’s performance is fine but other than that i can’t vouch for any of the other roles or storylines that were just very dull. Gary Oldman is wasted as a generic and caricatured Eastern European Dictator who isn’t even a decently integrated villain. I would say definitely skip this movie as there are much more entertaining films of the same genre from recent years.