Why haven’t Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson worked together sooner?
Synopsis: The world’s top protection agent is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world’s most notorious hitmen. The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator who is out for blood. (Lionsgate)
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Gary Oldman
Writer: Tom O’Connor
Director: Patrick Hughes
Rating: 14A (Canada)/R (United States)
Running Time: 118mins
For showtimes an more, check out The Hitman’s Bodyguard on movietimes.com.
Let’s face it, the reason that most people will be seeing it the pairing of Reynolds and Jackson. It should not come as much of a surprise that they are well worth the price of admission. As a result, the story itself doesn’t really matter because it wasn’t the most original plot-wise, but it felt more reminiscent of a 1990s classic buddy cop type film. It features a pair of opposites in a bodyguard named Michael Bryce (Reynolds) and a ruthless assassin named Darius Kincaid (Jackson) who are forced to work together.
Bryce and Kincaid are so much fun to watch together that it’s easy to forget the story (and you will). Reynolds and Jackson could have done just about anything and it would have been equally as entertaining. Bryce’s mission was to transport Kincaid from England to the Netherlands to testify against an evil Belorussian dictator named Vladislav Dukhovich (Oldman). This task proved to be easier said than done as Bryce and Kincaid’s past history and their conflicting personalities made it difficult for them to work together while making it entertaining for us to watch. They obviously didn’t end up that way the end though.
Kincaid probably didn’t need to be protected as he easily proved that he could definitely handle himself to the point that it was sometimes unclear who was protecting who. Dukhovich had pretty much disposed of everyone of his detractors which made Kincaid the last hope and adding pressure on Bryce to succeed. To try and stop them, Bryce and Kincaid faced waves of cronies to which they both handled with relative ease. It seemed like Kincaid actually enjoyed himself shooting people in the head with almost perfect accuracy while Bryce frantically tried to maintain control of the situation, mostly avoiding the action unless absolutely necessary.
The action itself was very exciting to watch and a little more on the violent side, again reminiscent of 1990s action movies, featuring excellent fight choreography although with tons of shaky cam, some great gun battles, and some great action sequences. The film was very funny to watch with its humor partly responsible for the 14A/R rating so expect a lot of swearing along with the general crudeness. All of this fit very well with the film’s ridiculous, over the top nature with Kincaid and his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) being the best examples of this.
As mentioned, the chemistry between Reynolds and Jackson was the best part of the film. They were simply dynamite on screen. Their characters may been have been lacking but it didn’t matter. They both handled themselves admirably at the action but their interchanges were even better as they were hilarious to watch together. Oldman chewed the scenery as Dukhovich in a forgettable role. Hayek was surprisingly funny as Jackson’s foul-mouthed wife.
Overall, this was a fun action-comedy with a big and stupid story reminiscent of 1990s action films but the reason that most will be seeing it is Ryan Reynolds and Samuel Jackson together on screen and they definitely deliver.