By: BabyRuth (Four Beers) –
Many people seem pretty intrigued to see Nick Fury and Deadpool team up in a movie. Fun fact: this is the second time. Remember Dreamworks’ Turbo? Me neither.
Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) lives in a big, modern, house, drives a fancy car, and has lots of guns. He’s a former CIA agent turned personal bodyguard. Not just your run-of-the-mill personal bodyguard, but a “triple A rated executive protection agent,” which is apparently a big deal and a real thing and has nothing to do with the automobile association of America. It also pays pretty damn well. Many of his clients are not so good people though, hence the need for personal security. One day while on a job protecting a Japanese arms dealer, everything falls apart for Bryce when the man is murdered on his watch.
Two years later, Bryce is no longer living in a big, modern, house or driving a fancy car, and is no longer triple A rated (which, after four pages of Google search results, I still can’t determine is an actual real thing). Since losing that client, the only bodyguard work he can get is protecting coked-out businessmen. But that’s about to change…
Over at the International Court of Justice (in case you are wondering, that is an actual real thing) in the Netherlands there is a big trial for a former dictator named Dukhovich (Gary Oldman, naturally). Despite killing hundreds of innocent people, he is about to go free. That is, unless, a single star witness testifies: Darius Kinkaid (Samuel L. Jackson), an infamous assassin, currently serving a prison sentence in Manchester, England. Kinkaid agrees to testify on the condition that his wife (Salma Hayek) is released from prison. (We never learn why she is in there, but that prison sure has a great make-up artist on staff.)
Because movie reasons, there is a stipulation. Kinkaid must get to the court in 24 hours and not a second more or Dukhovich walks. When the initial Interpol transport goes horribly awry due to Dukhovich’s henchmen’s interference, agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Young) calls upon the only person she knows who will be able to successfully get Kinkaid from England to the court in the Hague alive. Can you guess who? Yup, her ex-boyfriend Michael Bryce!
Turns out Bryce and Kinkaid have a bit of a history and get this, are complete opposites! I know! You see, Bryce is uptight and by-the-book (as by-the-book as one can be who has no problem with killing dozens of people. It’s okay though, they’re all bad.) while Kinkaid is wild and unpredictable. (He also kills a lot of people, he is a hitman after all, but that’s okay too because they are also all bad. Hmm, maybe they do have something in common!) All that time forced together these two are just sure to bicker quite often! But you know, it’s possible they just might end up learning a bit from each other and becoming friends.
In between committing multiple acts of property damage.
If you like hearing Samuel L. Jackson say “motherfucker,” well, you are in luck! He says it 457 times. That is completely accurate. I counted. Well, okay, I’m not so good at counting, but it’s around there.
Both Jackson and Reynolds are exactly as you would expect them to be, reveling in their go-to onscreen personas (Jackson: ultimate motherfucking badass/ Reynolds: snarky and sarcastic) that we’ve seen a million times, not that there’s anything wrong with that. They play on their strengths and off each other extremely well, making for a good odd couple.
Salma Hayek makes an appearance as Jackson’s equally tough and foul-mouthed wife and she nearly upstages the two leads in her little screen time, getting many of the biggest laughs of the entire movie. It’s refreshing to see her in a role other than “mom” or love interest of a member of the Happy Madison crew and she certainly appears to be loving every minute of it.
The whole film is one big tonal mess with Director Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3 a.k.a. the Expendables sequel you didn’t see) never quite deciding what he wants it to be. Or rather he decided to try to make it everything he wanted it to be: An 80s-style buddy action-comedy, a spoof of 80s buddy action-comedies, and a Tarantino-esque bloodfest (hell he’s already got Jackson and Hayek and just try counting all the head-shots). It’s too much and never as fun, funny, or clever as it thinks it is.
The humor is hit or miss. For every legitimately funny moment (Jackson’s and Hayek’s characters flashback meet-cute) there are two cringe-worthy terrible attempts (a fat and fart joke all in one!).
The story is predictable and feels derivative of better films that have come before (take your pick). I was surprised to learn the screenplay written by Tom O’Connor was on the 2011 Black List. Then again so was Dirty Grandpa, so maybe it was an off year.
Usually in action movies, the quieter scenes in between the big set pieces slow the film down to a grinding halt. As strange as it sounds, in The Hitman’s Bodyguard, it is the exact opposite. The best parts are the in-between moments of Jackson and Reynolds verbally sparring, swearing, and at one point, singing. The many (many!) over-the-top and brutal action scenes are uninventive, dull, ugly, and seem to go on forever. I just wanted them to be over so we could get back to the Reynolds-Jackson show.
Not only are the action sequences tedious and often hard to follow due to piss-poor cinematography (focus!), this film has some of the worst CGI I’ve seen this side of Neil Breen. Pay attention whenever there is an explosion or fire. It’s so, so awful. I don’t know if it was intentional, as much of the violence in this movie borderlines on cartoonish, but that would be my excuse if I had to personally answer for it.
I’m guessing acquiring the big names took up most of this movie’s budget so Hughes had to rely on this kid’s Youtube tutorial on how to make explosions using Windows Moviemaker for the special effects.
Plus, every scene is accompanied by some “clever” musical accompaniment that only distracts and is as sloppily mishmashed as everything else in this movie, so I guess that’s actually fitting.
And despite the poster (which is funnier than anything in the film) and its use in the trailer, “I Will Always Love You” is not featured, which is a bummer.
In a case of unfortunate movie timing, there’s a scene in which a truck plows through a crowd of protesters so yeah… so much for escaping to the local multiplex to forget about the horrors of recent events for a couple hours (yes, this one is TWO HOURS LONG and you feel every motherfucking minute of it).
Verdict: Four Motherfucking Beers
There’s a reason this one is dropping the third weekend of August. If you absolutely NEED to see it, go to a matinee or just wait for Netflix.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every mention of “Triple A status”
Take a Drink: whenever anyone says “motherfucker”
Take a Drink: every time Kinkaid outsmarts Bryce
Take a Drink: any time a character sings
Take a Drink: for every flashback scene
Take a Drink: for every chase scene
Do a Shot: at every instance of noticeably fake-looking CGI
Do a Shot: for every head-shot