Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds bring the pain and the laughs in The Hitman’s Bodyguard.
In a matter of seconds, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) loses his triple-A status as a bodyguard after his client, Kurosawa (Tsuwayuki Saotome), is suddenly assassinated before his eyes. Two years later, notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) is supposed to be delivered safely by Interpol to Amsterdam as a key witness for a trial against Russian President Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), who is secretly a tyrant that kills innocent people.
Kincaid and Interpol are ambushed by Russian assassins hired by Dukhovich. With her comrades wiped out, Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) has no one else to turn to for help except Michael. She shudders at the idea since her and Michael were an item two years ago and he hates her guts because he thinks she was the one who killed Kurosawa. But she knows he’s good at his job.
Michael visits the apartment after getting a call from Amelia and finds Darius. They duke it out for a good few minutes. Darius is Michael’s worst enemy, who attempted to kill him exactly 28 times. But Amelia says if Michael can deliver Darius to the trial unharmed, she can help him earn his triple-A status again. Michael and Darius reluctantly flee together and travel miles abroad fighting goons and forming a bromance.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard pairs Reynolds and Jackson like Rush Hour paired Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. They didn’t see eye to eye at first, but they always busted each other out of a jam. The bloody violence (hallelujah!) is similar to Deadpool, Reynolds’ 2016 trademark performance. Like Deadpool, the action follows funny one-liners and attitude from Reynolds and a cocky Jackson with his one-liners, trademark yelling and swearing.
Like the classic good-cop/bad-cop routine, Michael follows the rules and develops plans to a tee. Darius wings it and follows his own rules to get the best results. It’s funny to see Darius question everything Michael does and Michael annoys the hell out of Darius by following the rules.
Gary Oldman gives a strong performance and convincing Russian accent as Dukhovich. His underhandedness in this film is similar to his role in the 1994 film, Léon: The Professional. Oldman played a crooked cop and Léon (Jean Reno), a professional hitman, and Mathilda (Natalie Portman), a girl he took under his wing after her family was killed, fought against him.
He’s a worthy foe for Michael and Darius.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is the best action-comedy you’ll ever see. Period. Jackson and Reynolds are a great pair that keeps you laughing until the credits roll. You will not be disappointed.
Studio: Summit (1 hr. 58 min)
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds, Elodie Yung, Gary Oldman, Salma Hayek, Roy Hill
Director: Patrick Hughes
Story: A bodyguard reluctantly goes to extraordinary lengths to protect a hitman who is also his worst enemy.
Final Score: A+
This review was first published on Blackflix