“The action scenes aren’t great and not all of the jokes are funny, but overall it was an enjoyable experience.”
The Hitman’s Bodyguard follows Michael Bryce, once the world’s leading protection agent and now not so much, who is tasked to protect Darius Kincaid, a very competent hitman whop is the key to bringing down a Russian dictator in international court. What seems to be an easy job grows complicated when the pair meet and it is discovered that they have some history to say the least. What follows is about two hours of incessant bickering and action scenes; but it is enjoyable.
So like I said The Hitman’s Bodyguard is an enjoyable film, but it is pretty fucking far from great. To tackle this movie I’m going to have to break the action/comedy genre into two categories; so let’s first tackle to action portion of the film. The Hitman’s Bodyguard marketed itself as having really cool stunts and action scenes, but unfortunately this isn’t necessarily true. I don’t want to say that it is false advertising because the one scene that was heavily advertised (the Amsterdam boat chase) was actually the best action scene in the film, but the rest fell flat to say the least. One of the nails in this coffin was the CGI used in The Hitman’s Bodyguard. I don’t for a second think that The Hitman’s Bodyguard was a cheap film to make, just with the payment of the two stars alone you’re looking at a pretty penny, but I can tell that the director’s favourite catchphrase was “we’ll add it in post”. I started to wonder exactly how Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson were reacting to anything they were seeing considering that half of it only existed in a digital world on some dude’s computer. When I say that everything of importance was CGI I mean it. Bullets, blood, explosions; Hell, even a barrier that the pair drive through in the film wasn’t practical. Sure CGI everything makes sure that you get the best outcome for the time spent, but the problem is that it was just so noticeable. Whenever anything cool would happen on screen I was taken out of the film because I could just tell that half of what I was seeing wasn’t even happening. But all of that is kind of nitpicking on my part, what really held the action back was one simple thing: All of the action in The Hitman’s Bodyguard intentionally took a back set to the film’s comedy. Instead of seeing these two guys kick ass and take names, what we usually got was a scene with the two of them fighting, and then either the problem would sort itself out (leading to another “joke”), or they would shoot the bad guys so quickly that you couldn’t even relish in how cool it was. This strand of criticism leads me into the next phase of this review: the comedy.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is obviously supposed to be a comedy first, that much is evident with the way the action in the film is left by the wayside, but the problem I had is that very little of the film actually made me laugh. Now this part of my review is going to be about as biased as I can get because comedy is one of the more subjective forms of art, so feel free to stop reading now if you don’t want to here me bitch and moan for a paragraph. So if you’ve ever wanted to hear me sound like an emotionless robot, this next sentence is for you: A lot of what is said or done in The Hitman’s Bodyguard I recognized as jokes, but for one reason or another I just didn’t find them funny enough to laugh or even smile sometimes. I will say that the film doesn’t cross the threshold into annoying comedy, it’s just that a lot of it didn’t make me laugh. But I did appreciate that the tone of the films as one that wasn’t very serious, and this made me enjoy the movie more than I would have otherwise. So as you can see this leaves me in kind of weird pale with The Hitman’s Bodyguard. There are a few other thing that I feel I should mention even though I don’t have much to say on the matter; but here we go anyway. I found the performances to be exactly what you’d expect from both Reynolds and Jackson. They weren’t bad by any means, but they did nothing that made them stand out to me. They were essentially just playing Reynolds and Jackson the entire time. I found the soundtrack of the movie to be good (for the most part). I really liked the inclusion of a lot of old blues songs, but then there were also some more questionable music choices thrown in as well. And one thing that kept catching me off guard, especially in the beginning of the film, was the fact that it looked like someone had smeared vaseline on the lens of the camera for most of the shots. Seriously, I don’t know what happened but it looked like absolute shit. Maybe the director’s only experience was shooting porn in the 70’s.
So as you can see The Hitman’s Bodyguard has left me kind of torn. Did I love the movie? No. Did I hate the movie? No. Was there a lot wrong with it? Yes. Did I enjoy myself? Yes. Really The Hitman’s Bodyguard is the kind of movie that you go and see if you want to relax and maybe get a few laughs out of the experience. The action scenes aren’t great and not all of the jokes are funny, but overall it was an enjoyable experience.
I give The Hitman’s Bodyguard a B