KEY CAST MEMBERS: Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds, Gary Oldman, and Salma Hayek, Elodie Yung, Joaquim De Almeida, Kirsty Mitchell with Richard E. Grant

WRITER(S): Tom O'Connor

DIRECTOR(S): Patrick Hughes


HERE'S THE STORY: Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is a 3 star Triple A rated "executive protection agent" ... Or at least he was until a Japanese client was killed by an unknown assassin. Now, trying to rebuild his career, he finds himself dealing with a slightly-less desirable clientele in an attempt to rebuild his career. 

Meanwhile, Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) is about to transferred by Interpol to an international court. Why? Because he has important information that could lead to the conviction of Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), the former cruel dictator of Belarus. Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) is in charge of the Interpol operation to get Kincaid to the court, which he – a notorious hitman with kill numbers in the hundreds – is only doing so that his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) can go free. 

So it should be obvious, then, that the transfer isn't going to go quite as planned, leaving Amelia to call in the one guy she knows can get Darius safely to the court in time despite the fact that he has a less-than-flattering nickname for her in his cell phone: Michael, who also has his own unique history with Darius.

But as circumstances quickly reveal and dictate, if Michael and Darius are going to stay alive, they are going to have to quit wanting to kill each other first.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds fans; people who enjoy action comedies that feature well-developed characters and not just brutal gunplay; people who enjoyed the movie 48 Hours in the 1980s; anyone who is able to give in to the film's world and enjoy the ride 

WHO WON'T (OR SHOULDN'T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? People who hate movies with excessive profanity and/or violence; anyone who finds the plot or black guy/white guy combo too formulaic to enjoy; those who will find the plot a bit too far fetched given the characters' various relationships 

SO, IS IT GOOD, BAD OR ABSOLUTELY AWFUL? A movie that sticks to the script (in terms of action comedies) and delivers as a result of strong performances by its leads to balance out both its jokes and hard-hitting, adrenaline-filled moments, The Hitman's Bodyguard is the most charming profanity-laden action movie to arrive thus far this summer. 

Whereas films like Atomic Blonde, Baby Driver and War for the Planet of the Apes were much more of a dark and gritty affair and others such as Spider–Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 were funny but more lighthearted affairs fantasy affairs, The Hitman's Bodyguard is a straight-up action comedy full of bullets and bad language. Deadpool and Nick Fury, er, Reynolds and Jackson do exactly what they do best – one in terms of being slightly smarmy and smug yet undeniably likable while the other is profane yet comically charismatic. 

Using the classic uptight guy meets unhinged guy formula, Reynolds and Jackson hit every note with expertise of a chef baking his best dish. Oldman does what is necessary to make his character stand as a believable bad guy while Yung and Hayek provide two strong sides of the same coin as independent women who are not to be messed with if at all possible as they – Hayek especially – are more than capable of putting you in your place. Director Patrick Hughes shows he has enough skill to not let anything get in the way of his actors doing what they do well to keep things moving along but, at the same time, adds enough nuances to keep the film from feeling formulaic even when you start to see common story elements rearing their familiar faces.

In short, The Hitman's Bodyguard is much like that last summer picnic before the onset of fall: A familiar yet fun outing that audiences will enjoy courtesy of a lot of comedy and crude action delivered by a very capable cast and crew.



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