The buddy-cop genre has been a staple of the Hollywood movies for over 3 decades now with few misses here and there but mostly successful such as Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run. Mastered by Shane Black during the 80’s, there’s something about the genre that it keeps coming back but we still enjoy it. It’s not about the action but the clash of two different personalities which shines. If one is slow, another is fast, if one is talkative then other is shy. Which is what exactly The Hitman’s Bodyguard serves its audience with occasional low points but mostly fun.
Starring two of the most charismatic actors of their respective generations, Ryan Reynolds plays Triple-A status bodyguard Michael Bryce, who after one failed operation is living in a car(and urinating in the same too) and hasn’t been able to forgive his girlfriend Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) thinking that she betrayed her.
Now Amelia is tasked with taking Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) who is a sole living witness against a genocidal dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), to the International Criminal Court at Hague. After the attack on their team, Amelia is left with no choice but to ask her ex-boyfriend Michael to take Darius to Hague as she believes that someone inside the Interpol is behind the attack. How Maichel brings Darius to the court is the rest of the story.
If the emphasis would have been more on the action, then it might have been a big misfire but since it’s about the chemistry between two totally opposite characters and how they come to respect each other is what makes this movie watchable. The scene where Samuel Jackson sings with a group of nurses while Ryan Reynolds is embarrassed is particularly funny. Jackson is in his usual self-mouthing “Motherfucker” with every other word which we have come to love ever since we saw him mouthing Ezekiel 25:17 in Pulp Fiction(1994).
Ryan Reynolds, on the other hand, is a perfect foil for Samuel L. Jackson, with his quick witted dialogues. He oozes charisma in every scene and he is obviously a star material who can lift up even a dull scene. One great addition is Salma Hayek, who plays Sonia, the foul mouthed wife of Samuel Jackson operating mostly from her cell. She lights up the every scene she’s in one particular scene where she beats up bad guys, while Samuel Jackson watches her in deep awe with Lionel Richie’s Hello playing in the background. One major disappointment is Gary Oldman who doesn’t have much to do but to look menacing behind heavy makeup. While watching the movie, I couldn’t help but remember the scene in True Romance where Gary Oldman’s Drexl Spivey kills the then unknown Samuel Jackson. Why someone of Gary’s caliber will do a role like this is beyond me
The script doesn’t offer much but The Expendables 3 director Patrick Hughes offer enough moments to both the actor to shine. Action scenes are nothing you haven’t seen before so if you are looking for something extraordinary, then you would be disappointed. All in all, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is worth your money if you don’t expect much.