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Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard – Movie Review

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Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard – Movie Review

Rating: D (Very Bad)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy VVS Films

The action comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard was an unremarkable film that had a few laughs, but didn’t take full advantage of the potential chemistry between Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. With the sequel Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, the filmmakers go even heavier on the three S’s: Shouting, Shooting and Swearing. The result is a noisy affair that has a disappointing lack of laughs and goes from one absurd plot point to the next. Even as a lightweight “turn off your brain” entertainment, the film falters in generating much excitement or intrigue. There are talented actors on board for this, but they’re not given anything to work with and just look like they’re having a nice European vacation.

As the title implies, there is a major focus on the wife of Jackson’s hitman Darius Kincaid. An expanded role for Salma Hayek should lead to some inspiring scenes, but instead becomes another example of the sequel trying to be bigger and louder. The main joke with her character is that she swears a lot and that’s the level of humour on display. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is the kind of movie that thinks someone shouting the f-word a million times is comedy gold. Yes, this is Jackson’s trademark, but the better films featuring him know how to utilise his sailor mouth.

A lot of the comedy also involves the actors screaming their lines and that gets old incredibly quickly. Ryan Reynolds is a talented comedic performer, as shown with the Deadpool films, but his best assets are not used here. That the characters aren’t given much in the way of real personality doesn’t help matters. Even with the villain’s plot being straight out of a James Bond movie, there’s no sense of urgency or concern that things won’t work out. There are several points where Reynolds’s bodyguard should be dead and yet he comes out okay. Even with the logic established by this world, this feels absurd. The editing is also disappointing, especially in the first act, when things happen at such a manic pace with the film in a hurry to get the main trio together.

A few famous faces come along for the ride and are largely wasted. Antonio Banderas is mostly required to dress fancy and say a few threatening words and his villain is forgettable. Morgan Freeman also shows up and contributes even less than Banderas. The action sequences mostly descend into characters shooting at one another. The scenes are filmed and edited in the same manner, too. The action could be happening during a car chase or on a boat and yet they all wind up being boring. There is little creativity to be found, despite the best efforts of the stunt team.

Even though The Hitman’s Bodyguard was underwhelming, one could call it a harmless film to find on television or on Netflix. The sequel doubles down on the problems of the predecessor and becomes tiring to watch as we’re assaulted with swearing sans wit, dull action and way too much yelling masquerading as comedy. Most disappointing is the waste of actors like Jackson, Reynolds, Hayek, Banderas and Freeman. They earned a nice paycheque and got to travel around Italy and Croatia for a bit. They deserve it, even when handed a script with little enjoyment or substance.

Stefan Ellison