You would assume if you put Ryan Reynolds, Richard E. Grant, Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson in a movie together that you are going to have a hit, well let’s see shall we.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard sees triple A rated executive bodyguard, Reynolds (Deadpool, R.I.P.D.) lose everything when one of his clients is killed on his watch.
He blames his then girlfriend, Elodie Yung (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Daredevil (TV)), an Interpol agent, suspecting she leaked the name of his client.
She winds up in trouble trying to get a hitman, Jackson (Kong: Skull Island, The Hateful Eight), to the trial of Bosnian mass-murdering president, Gary Oldman (RoboCop, The Dark Knight Rises) at The Hague after Interpol is compromised.
Yung ends up having to rely on someone on the outside, hence the unlikely pairing of Reynolds and Jackson, particularly as Jackson has, in the past, tried to kill Reynolds on numerous occasions.
First off, the good. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is funny and there’s plenty of action. Lots of car and bike chases, lots of shoot-outs and even some close-quarters fighting for good measure.
Director Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3, Red Hill) handles things admirably if not spectacularly. Writer Tom O’Connor (Fire With Fire) has created a version of the unlikely-buddy movie that, whilst it may not be distinct necessarily, certainly has its moments.
Reynolds and Jackson are great together, they bounce off each perfectly although the swearing from Jackson and his wife, Salma Hayek (Sausage Party, Desperado), does get tiresome quickly.
Oldman is fantastic, the little we see of him, channelling the same sort of bad-guy we got in The Fifth Element. An intense, powerful display of bad-ass-ness.
Richard E. Grant (Logan, Dom Hemmingway) has an awesome little cameo-esq role which is a shame as it’s very funny and you want to see more of him.
Where the film is less successful is in the run-time and editing. It’s too long, at just shy of two-hours, and in between the fighting and comedy, neither writer nor director can keep your interest peaked.
We also have a comedy of continuity errors, some you even suspect are going to occur before they do. This shouldn’t be happening in a modern film, particularly one with a reported $30 million budget.
They are so bad and so noticeable it’s not even funny. We’re talking Commando level continuity here, shocking. It’s hard not to spot them but, as an example, keep an eye on the bonnet (hood) of the Ford they drive towards the end of the movie.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a fun, funny, action-packed film. It’s not meant to be Shakespeare and it unashamedly doesn’t try to be, nor should it.
It knows what it is and it does fine. It could have done with some editing to make it flow a little better, but otherwise, you could do a lot worse at the moment.