The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

*. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a really unoriginal movie, which means there’s not much to say about it, since I don’t even think it can be said to represent much of anything. It tells the standard buddy-action film story, with sophisticated executive bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) finding himself protecting street-smart hit man, and former adversary, Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson). They fight, find things they have in common, bond, and kill all the bad guys sent to kill them. At the end, they accomplish their missions and get their respective girls.
*. It’s hard to think such a clichéd plot could be taken seriously. Two things to take note of: (1) the original script was on the industry Black List of “most liked” unproduced screenplays; and (2) it was not initially planned as a comedy. I don’t know which of these factlets is more surprising. Perhaps a combination of the two. I mean, if it was such a highly regarded script, why did it have to be changed so fundamentally, in what was apparently a rush job, before it got made?
*. Watching The Hitman’s Bodyguard it didn’t take long for my mind to begin to drift. I only had a couple of thoughts about the movie. First: Ryan Reynolds can pretty much charm his way through anything. He just has that “it” quality that immediately draws us toward him. Second: What could Salma Hayek and Gary Oldman have seen in their woeful parts that would have made them want to do this movie? She is a violent, foul-mouthed con and he’s a Belarussian dictator. As with everyone else in the movie they are clichéd characters who only exist to spout a bunch of clichéd lines. I guess they were paid well, but still. If you were an actor and you read a script like this wouldn’t your heart sink?
*. Sure, if you know what you like and what you like is a conventional shoot-’em-up action film then this pretty much delivers. There are a couple of extended and (I thought) well executed chase scenes. Reynolds and Jackson crack wise together. Everything happens just the way you want, and expect, it to happen. A sequel is reported to be in the works [it arrived a few years later]. No surprise there, either.

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