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REVIEW: The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

I think everyone here can agree that 2014’s The Expendables 3 was a bust, considering it was highly anticipated by fans of the old 80’s – 90’s action guard… only to be let down by a two-hit KO by its weak “young blood” cast, and then further by its PG-13 rating which only hampered down the action sequences. We expected great things from the film, considering that a lot of the actors in there weren’t getting any younger, and their careers needed some much revitalizing. One key player who managed to walk away unscathed was director Patrick Hughes, whom I came to realize – after watching this new film – that, like the cast, he was also given a raw deal by Avi Lerner and Sylvester Stallone.

 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard revolves around Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds, enjoying a career high following last year’s smash hit Deadpool) – self-proclaimed as the world’s top protection bodyguard, who is called upon to guard the life of notorious assassin Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson). As the duo criss-cross from England to Amsterdam in order for Kincaid to make it to The Hague on time to testify against a ruthless Belarusian dictator (Gary Oldman, phoning it in here), they have to survive rounds of opposing bullets from the villain’s henchmen… if they don’t kill each other first, that is.

 

Right from the start, you know the screenplay isn’t going to win some originality award, as it borrows bits and pieces from other superior buddy action comedies such as the great 48 Hrs.Midnight Run, and even Rush Hour of all films. The background score as well seems to be too desperate in elbowing you into thinking “this is a buddy movie, did you catch the joke?” with its annoying harmonica riff, a cliche of the comedy film genre. Add to the fact that Reynolds’ brand of sardonic comedy may not work on all viewers, and even much so Jackson’s usual mugging for the camera will most definitely have worn a lot of viewers out ever since his knack for using the word ‘motherfucker’ has only been brought to the mainstream following 2006’s Snakes on a Plane. But the first red-band trailer hit the web, and I was sold. Any movie that straight up acknowledges it was going to be riduculous AND be R-rated at the same time is at least worth a look.

 

 

Despite all of the above mentioned, I actually enjoyed this film quite a lot. The jokes are hit and miss, but this time they mostly hit, hard. Reynolds, for the most part, is the straight-man in this “odd-couple” pairing and comes up with a number of good dry quips, whereas Jackson relishes with glee in accentuating every syllable of the golden mf word, this time with effort to entertain as it felt more of a deliberate self-parody more than anything. Their chemistry and comic timing made the entire film, and it is made more apparent when scenes not featuring them lack the same spark, specifically involving Bryce’s agent ex-girlfriend (Élodie Yung from Gods of Egypt). Oldman, again, feels like he’s being the typical Eastern European villain, like a direct sibling of his character from 1997’s Air Force One, and I’m still debating on whether that is a good or okay thing. However – a surprise came in the form of Salma Hayek – still beautiful as ever – as Kincaid’s incarcerated and hot-headed wife; she steals all scenes she’s in with great comic timing, even in flashbacks that make humourous use of Lionel Richie’s hit song Hello.

 

What surprised me was the way Hughes handled the action sequences in this one, positively. Usually, in modern-day action comedies, the action is stilted to make way for awkward humor, in a bid to make them more appealing for modern-day audiences, you see (Paul Feig’s Spy, for example). Not here. Between the comic banter and f bombs dropping like flies, and despite (very few) CGI backgrounds (a rarity in Millennium Films’ oeuvre), Hughes floors it in the action sequences, which makes The Expendables 3 look worse now. Bullets hit flesh, blood pours or sprays out. Bones are broken. Bodies are flung in the air when an explosion or collision happens. Now that Hughes has his way with an R-rating, it’s quite a surprise to see that the man is very adept at handling action. A spectacular action set piece stands out – set in the streets and canals of Amsterdam where a prolonged shootout leads to a chase that involves cars, a bike, and a boat. It was a relief to see that they were genuine, unfaked stunts.

 

Already this has gotten some flak from critics, for its un-PC handling of meaningless violent action sequences (due to recent incidents) balanced out with screwball comedy banter between Reynolds and Jackson, against an unoriginal plot. To which I say… does it matter? Sometimes all you need is a good time at the theater, be it a solid actioner with stunts or a hearty laugh with some guys and gals. It’s no classic, but it’s good to see that Hughes, Reynolds, and Jackson delivering something that includes a little for everyone.

  • Thank you for reviewing this, AlTeo. I was wondering about this but now I will keep an eye out and try and catch it at some point

    • Mucho Macho

      He’s right. It’s a fun movie

  • Jimmy Smith

    Sold … I’ll definitely have to check this out . Looks like it will be one of the better actioners of the year.

    • Mucho Macho

      I recommend it too, he’s right, is a fun movie

  • Jacob Phillips

    Didn’t Hughes also make the fantastic Red Hill?

    • Mucho Macho

      Yes.. a movie I have yet to watch😞

  • TheOldMcClane

    looks good other than the shaky cam and CGI.

  • Mucho Macho

    Good job brother.
    I actually saw it a few days ago & was thinking about maybe a review for it but I’ve been busy but I’m glad you wrote it cause you did a much better job with it than would’ve.

    * When you watch the Expendables 3 director’s cut, the the third act it’s actually very well directed and cool third act but the problem lies with the fact that you don’t give a fuck about the new stupid recruits and by then we were disappointed.

    * I was surprised by how much I liked the movie and I would have given it the exact same rating. It’s a fun movie and one should take it for what it is. Reynolds & Jackson actually have pretty good chemistry…& Salma Hayek still hot as fuck.

    * I did not know Gary Oldman was in the movie and I was thrilled that he was playing a bad guy however this seems like one of those “I’ll show up for a few days for a nice sum of money and work with nice people” kind of deals. However I don’t think he did a bad job. The problem is that I think he seems like he was in another movie, like that’s a character that you would have seen in another more serious dramatic film. Oldman was so serious.. Well it’s Gary Oldman and when it’s time to be evil he ain’t fucking around…No matter the genre.😂

    * This review is on point. It’s a fun movie to watch.

    • AlTeo

      Thanks brother
      Yea this one came out…pretty much what I expected going into the theater
      Expendables 3 was a missed opportunity but yes the finale was surprisingly well directed and choreographed.

      I hope Hughes gets higher profile projects after this, looks like it won the US box office this week. There’s a fight scene in this movie which is first-class as Reynolds gets chased on foot by a henchman from a restaurant kitchen into a hardware store, and the majority of the fight sequence is done in one lengthy take. Perhaps this is a “what could’ve been” if Hughes did indeed helm the supposed Raid remake.

      • Mucho Macho

        I came in not knowing too much about it and had low or no expectations whatsoever but during that fight sequence I turned to my friend and said “you know this movie is better than I thought it was going to be, its cool.

        You know I was thinking about Ryan Reynolds has to be given some from a credit here, when you think about it he’s in a lot of R-rated movies in different genres, comedies, action, thrillers/horror.

        Have you seen this one.
        It was also better than I expected .
        https://youtu.be/3agaVwt0tb8

        • AlTeo

          Yes I did see Self/Less. Enjoyable, pretty overlooked film. Reynolds seem to be going against the norm as expected for today’s movie star, even if he is playing Van Wilder/Deadpool one too many times

          • Mucho Macho

            He’s been playing Deadpool for years my friend..LOL
            Reynolds has done a lot of R-rated stuff in different genres and I think we should point that out.
            One movie I love of his is this one.
            Seen it way too many times, it always makes me laugh.
            https://youtu.be/vIBBVzy5UoQ

    • Barney Ross

      The Expendables 3 – 1/10 (1 for Gibson)
      Hitman’s Bodyguard – 10/10

      EX3 should have been hard R rating

  • Mucho Macho

    Let me recommend a Samuel Jackson comedy that came out in 1996. If we watch the current state of boxing and the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, this movie it’s pretty accurate.
    Fun comedy. I recommended it.
    https://youtu.be/WnyftZZ880s

  • Jake

    This surprised a lot of people at the box office this weekend but I keep seeing explanations to the effect that it’s an old-school crowd pleaser. I didn’t realize Patrick Hughes directed it or that Daredevil’s Elodie Yung was in it.

    I’d seen the posters parodying Costner’s Bodyguard film, but didn’t know they also did one copying the style of Eastwood’s Magnum Force. If nothing else, I feel like I need to see the film solely for that.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8abc174b0718be121507b4c4ab3de9a325b0cfd5237358993c5116a4989a45f7.jpg

  • The Night Rider

    I might check it out now, Jackson sullied his own name in recent years with me and put me off his movies.

    • Mucho Macho

      He’s a good actor and can turn it on when he wants to but he seems to do a lot of stuff just for the sake of it.
      He must never be home, he seems to do like 10 movies a year.
      But I guess as long as he sends a check home his wife don’t mind

      It’s getting harder and harder to like actors like we used to. That’s why I don’t view their Instagrams and Twitters lots of times. One is like “Hey, this guy is pretty cool” but then you click & he turns out to be another fucking snowflake or some shit.

      Sometimes you have a beautiful woman with a lot of money who are still single and all you have to do is click on their Twitter to see what the fuck is wrong with them..lol

  • Jay Beezy

    Hughes’ action directing still pales in comparison to Chad Stahelski, David Leitch and Gareth Evans. It was nice, though, that he put in that extended shot fight sequence.

    • Barney Ross

      I enjoyed this more than John Wick 1 and 2

  • ColonelBobi

    I think I must be the only guy sick of that cocky fuck Ryan Reynolds and his annoying sarcastic humour. He’s been playing the same character since Blade III and getting away with it.

    • Kirk’s Toupee

      You’re not alone. I fucking hate him. He’s Van Wilder in everything he does. He’s on my list to avoid along with Jared Leto, Ryan Gosling and Jake Gyllenhaal. Not a man in the bunch.

      • ColonelBobi

        Haha you are not wrong man. I never trust a ‘pretty boy’. I bet all those guys smell of Nivea or Oil Of Olay. Real men like Mel, Clint or Kurt smell of old leather, aged bourbon and deer blood.

      • AlTeo

        Gyllenhaal seems to pick good movies for him though, at least in my opinion: End of Watch, Prisoners and Nightcrawler all within a span of three years.

        Leto and Gosling (except Nice Guys)… yeah, no.

    • Mucho Macho

      Lol
      He does play the same character.. he’s been Deadpool for 20 years.😂
      He’s on some films that I like that’s why personally I don’t hate him. For example he did a movie in 2005 that just makes me laugh everytime I watch it “Just Friends”.

      • ColonelBobi

        I dunno Mucho, I just can’t think of a movie I legitimately liked him in. Even watching that Missisppi Grind he was playing himself / Van Wilder yet again and got out-acted easily by the guy from Bloodline.

  • Barney Ross
  • Stig Johansen

    To the people who write reviews on this site. Thank you. Since Imdb has become a sewer of studio-plants, and other sites review movies based on how PC they are, this site is one of the few good sites left for such things. Keep up the good work.

  • Barney Ross

    Best movie of 2017, its like a modern Lethal Weapon, reminds me of the 90’s a lot. R rated old school entertainment 10/10 manly movie
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zknRWCZL84k

  • anony

    I really enjoyed this movie, way better than what I expected it to be. One of the very few positive surprises so far this year.