Movie Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is light, funny and enjoyable. It is a classic, even cliched, story of two buddies and very incompetent legal (governing) bodies. The movie is not extraordinary, does not present anything original or exceptional, but it does a strong job at entertaining. The film received the 7.0 rating on IMDB, 37% on tomatometer and 47 metascore, but, in my opinion, neither of these ratings is accurate. IMDB scored it too high while the other two too low. The film is neither good or bad. It is not presenting itself anything else other than what it is and not even for a second takes itself seriously. It is a light, quick-paced action film with romantic details. It doesn’t aim to be anything else and that is how it should be judged.

Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Elodie Yung made the film work nicely. Gary Oldman’s villain, to me, was bland, boring, stereotypical and uninspiring. The script and writing were inadequate in creating Oldman’s character – it seems that Vladislav Dukhovich was added to the story just for the sake of having a villain, without any effort to develop or enhance the character. He added very little to the story and, even with his absence, the film would have been just as good – Reynolds and L. Jackson running around and causing chaos while engaging in hilarious quarrel.

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Of course, one can find numerous issues with the film e.g. the plot is superficial and generic, the film doesn’t explore any issues in depth, too many cliches etc. It is easy to label the film a typical Hollywood schlock due to all its shortcomings. However, the film is an epitome of what we expect from the summer movies – engaging, amusing and enjoyable. Therefore, it is not worth critiquing this film seriously and condemning it for what it doesn’t seek to be in the first place.

There is a delicate charisma and chemistry between the characters that transcends the cliches of the genre. Reynolds and Jackson portrayed their characters with a surprisingly well-explored depth while Yung and Hayek had their own strong scenes. The chemistry between the lead male actors is flawless and their exchanges are a pure joy to watch. The two female leads are as fierce as they are charming and their presence enrichens the production. Salma Hayek’s charismatic prison scenes, in particular, are the highlights of the film.

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Overall, it seemed like a group of good, talented friends got together and made the film – it is funny, light, enjoyable and without a hint of seriousness. Also, with the lead actors like Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson the lines, whether they were or not, at times appeared to be have been improvised (and only for the better). The film has a lot of funny moments, nicely choreographed action scenes and is a lot of fun. While it is predictable and cliched, the strengths of this film lie not in the story or the ending but the journey and the craziness that ensues.

Hitman’s Bodyguard does not need a substantial amount of reviewing or critiquing, it does not call for an in-depth analysis or comprehensive scrutiny. It simply is a fun action comedy, that is perfect for a lazy saturday night when you want to relax – nothing more and nothing less.

 

P.S. The opening scene reminded me of Oliver Jackson-Cohen’s character in Faster, who by the way should get his own movie.

 

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