The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017)
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Elodie Yung, Salma Hayek
Directed by: Patrick Hughes
Written by: Tom O’Connor
Rating: R Running Time: 1 hr 58 min.
So, going into The Hitman’s Bodyguard, with its great cast and fun premise, I was hopeful for some winning humor and action. I mean seriously, how could anyone screw this up? You have Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, two actors who can be seriously funny, and Gary Oldman, who knows his way around the memorable villain bit. Aren’t we still talking about his turn in Leon (a.k.a. The professional)?
Sadly, however, this film starts, things explode, and then it ends; the memories of the event are soon forgotten. Its cast seem to be phoning in their performances (especially Jackson) and the whole enterprise seems badly constructed. The comedic timing is off, and while some of the bigger action set pieces are somewhat entertaining, there’s still way too much shaky-cam going on.
Honestly, this thing screamed British TV production on a bigger budget, to me. Like, gritty BBC cop show restraint meets Hollywood excess, and the two sensibilities don’t blend well. Resulting in R-rated serious dramatic action, until someone shows up with a rocket launcher to remind us we’re not supposed to take this nonsense seriously.
Go into this with low expectations. All the best jokes are used in the trailers, so try to avoid them and save the film’s few saving graces for when you’re actually in the theater. Or, just wait for this to appear on your favorite streaming service.
Some of the live-action elements were nicely put together (kudos to the stunt drivers), and the big action sequence in Amsterdam is a highlight.