Hitman's Bodyguard

Does “Hitman’s Bodyguard” Miss the Target?

Can Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson revive the magic of the old action/comedy buddy movie, like "Lethal Weapon"? "The Hitman's Bodyguard" takes a shot.

Will Hitman’s Bodyguard fill the Lethal Weapon gap? It has been years since we got a good buddy movie/action comedy along those lines. Nice Guys (2016) with Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe was aiming for that sweet spot, but brutally missed—managing at once to be both frivolous and disturbing. How about the new venture with Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds? (Salma Hayek also shows up, classing the joint up a bit.) Opinions are mixed.

Emily Yoshida of Vulture wrote:

The whole film feels slightly grubby and low-res, like it’s been languishing in private mode on the filmmakers’ pre-HD YouTube page since 2008. There is also a weird digital haze that covers many of the exterior shots, as if to cover up the stitching of composite shots set “on location” in Amsterdam, or perhaps to protect the vanity of the two leading men. The effect was something like movie Klonopin; minutes after leaving the theater, I was hard pressed to remember a single image from the film, despite taking copious notes.

Andy Lea of the British Daily Express sums up the plot: “The plot sees Ryan Reynolds’s uptight bodyguard given 24 hours to take Samuel L Jackson’s maverick assassin from England to The Hague to testify against Gary Oldman’s Eastern European war criminal.” But he doesn’t buy into the narrative. He writes: “Reynolds and Jackson don’t have a molecule of the chemistry of Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy. And Turner & Hooch had better chat than this hapless pair, thanks to some shockingly unfunny dialogue.”

But Jackie Cooper of the Huffington Post disagrees. He said that the movie is

funnier than you think, more exciting than you think, and more over the top entertaining than you think it will be. It has been some time now since a movie so totally surprised me by being so, so much better than I expected. Reynolds shows he can still bring a movie to life, and Jackson shows he is a comic/adventure leading man of the highest order.

Make sure you don’t write this one off as being just an average movie. We have had a ton of those this summer, but finally we get something worth watching. Reynolds and Jackson are a deadly duo who deliver on the action and the comedy.

Check out the trailer and judge for yourself:

Written By
John Zmirak is Senior Editor of SCENES. He has sold screenplays, published a graphic novel ("The Grand Inquisitor") and taught writing at several...
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