Film Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Do you like Samuel L. Jackson? Do you like Ryan Reynolds? If you answered “No” to either of those questions, go ahead and stop reading. If you answered “Yes,” you might want to check out The Hitman’s Bodyguard.

The story of The Hitman’s Bodyguard follows Michael Bryce, a “Triple-A rated” bodyguard who needs to protect Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), a highly skilled hitman, from an evil dictator, Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman). While they were once enemies on opposite ends of multiple jobs, Michael and Darius are forced to work together, and maybe even learn a few things about each other along the way. If that sounds cliche to you, that’s because it is. Countless action-comedy movies have followed this very same beat, but the ones that stand out to me the most are the ones with the best chemistry between its leads, and the chemistry in The Hitman’s Bodyguard is pretty darn solid. While Reynolds and Jackson don’t quite reach the comedic levels of The Rock and Kevin Hart in Central Intelligence,  Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell in The Other Guys, or Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys, they still had me laughing pretty consistently. Bryce’s reactions to Kincaid’s “just wing it” outlook on life (and method of killing people) were the source of some of my biggest laughs this summer.

The action in The Hitman’s Bodyguard is entertaining in a similar way. Seeing Bryce’s planned-out fighting approach clash with Kincaid’s improvisational style usually ended up making the action even better, and hilarious. All of the action scenes are enjoyable, but the best has to be the boat chase in the last third of the film. There’s also one small sequence with Salma Hayek that I can’t provide context without spoiling, but is one of the best parts in the movie.

In all honesty, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a movie that really wouldn’t amount to much if it didn’t have two leads that play off of each other as well as Reynolds and Jackson. As someone who really likes both of them, I had a fun time watching The Hitman’s Bodyguard. However, I imagine it won’t please those who aren’t fans of them already. While it isn’t the most original buddy action-comedy, I found it to be one of the most enjoyable ones in the past few years.

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