Director: Patrick Hughes
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Salma Hayek, Elodie Yung, Richard E. Grant, Joaquim de Almeida
Runtime: 1 hr 51 mins
Rating: NC-16 (Violence and Coarse Language)
Released By: Golden Village Pictures
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/hitmansbodyguard/
Opening Day: 17 August 2017
Synopsis: The world’s top protection agent (Ryan Reynolds) is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world’s most notorious hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson). The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator (Gary Oldman) who is out for blood. Salma Hayek joins the mayhem as Jackson’s equally notorious wife.
What will the world do without Ryan Reynolds?
There is so much love for the Canadian actor on social media. With blurbs like “Do we really deserve Ryan Reynolds though?”, “There can never be enough Ryan Reynolds in the world”, “Ryan Reynolds = classiest guy alive”, “Ryan Reynolds is the best thing that ever happened to Twitter” and “We’ve died and gone to Ryan heaven”, things can’t really go wrong when you cast the Vancouver born actor in a movie.
And then we have Samuel L Jackson.
If you have seen his collaborations with director Quentin Tarantino on Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Django Unchained (2012), and The Hateful Eight (2015), you would know that the prolific American actor is dripping with screen presence. He is not someone you’d want to f*** around with. The 68 year old has appeared in over 100 movies (all hail Mace Windu from the Star Wars franchise!), and casting him in a movie probably means things won’t go wrong either.
So we have Reynolds and Jackson in Patrick Hughes’ latest movie about a protection agent who is tasked with guarding the life of one of the world’s most notorious hitmen. And this is the best part about the action flick also starring Gary Oldman, Elodie Yung and Salma Hayek.
The script written by Tom O’ Connor was one of the 2011 Black List of unproduced screenplays. Originally penned as a drama, it was re-written and remade into a comedy several weeks before filming began. That’s a good thing, given the chemistry between the movie’s two leading men. Things wouldn’t be as fun if they were exchanging serious dialogue.
Reynolds and Jackson probably had the time of their lives during production, as they play a pair of bodyguard and hitman who travel from the United Kingdomto the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. Their journey is filled with gun shootouts, car chases, boat escapes and ruthless assassins. Despite fighting against time to defeat a European dictator (Oldman, who always impresses even with limited screen time), the duo still make time to curse and swear at each other – try counting the number of times “m*****f*****” is whispered, said and shouted in the movie! Hayek contributes to this as Jackson’s easily pissed wife who is imprisoned in jail.
Unfortunately, the two men’s antics are the best thing about the 111 minute movie, which could be easily be half an hour shorter. There isn’t anything particularly innovative about the premise: the buddy flick repeats many of the clichés you’ve seen elsewhere (Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys), the loud and brash action sequences feel uninspired, and you get a nagging feeling that the whole setup is for Reynolds and Jackson to feed off each other’s popularity. Hughes’, whose notable work before this was The Expendables 3 (2014), also seems to have a thing for falling buildings and deafening explosions.
But when you see how attractive Reynolds looks on the big screen (the dude looks like a 28 year old man child stuck in the body of a 40 year old), everything is forgiven.
(The best thing about this dispensable popcorn flick is the chemistry and banter between its two leading men)
Review by John Li