Director Patrick Hughes’ The Hitman’s Bodyguard is an action comedy with two likeable leads. Despite the talent however, the film is not as amusing as viewers may wish.
Michael Bryce’s reputation as the world’s top bodyguard is dented after an unfortunate incident. He is asked to take on a perilous task; safely taking a notorious hitman to the International Court of Justice in time to testify…
Written by Tom O’Connor, The Hitman’s Bodyguard boasts a good premise for an action comedy. Nevertheless, the marketing is better than the film itself. Although it is entertaining, the film does not have the frequency of laughs to make it memorable. More comedy and less emphasis on tension and action would have made for a livelier film.
The action crosses a number of countries thanks to the race against time premise. The set up works well to create a sense of momentum, with tension increasing as the film progresses. The action sequences are relatively full-bodied, although they are often relied upon for comic effect. Bryce’s personal life plot does not really hit the mark, although it allows for Darius to impart some amusing knowledge. In the second half of the film, there are certain scenes which could have been edited to aid momentum.
Samuel L Jackson and Ryan Reynolds have good chemistry in the odd couple set up. Reynolds plays it fairly straight to allow Jackson to flourish in a more outlandish role. Salma Hayek is great in each scene she appears in. Unfortunately these are not frequent enough. She is the funniest character in the film, it is a shame that filmmakers do not capitalise on this. Gary Oldman is sufficiently hammy as the cartoonish antagonist.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is never boring, but there are few belly laughs. Perhaps the film’s biggest flaw is that it doesn’t live up to the potential suggested by the marketing campaign.
The latest instalment, The Expendables 3 certainly brings star power. Nevertheless, the film is a bit patchy; the narrative and visuals could have done with more work.
Whilst on a mission, Barney Ross and his team of mercenaries take a personal hit. Barney is determined to track down the arms dealer responsible, requiring fresh blood to do so…
Director Patrick Hughes’ The Expendables 3 continues on the same tact as the previous two films. However this instalment lacks some of the humour of The Expendables 2, which was a highlight of that film.
The story in The Expendables 3 is not particlarly compelling. There is a focus on the new characters that protagonist Barney meets. This new breed of mercenaries, however, are not that interesting as characters. Only one of these new characters has a distinct personality, and is a welcome addition to proceedings.
The Expendables 3 would have definitely benefitted from more humour. The second film in this franchise got the balance right between action and comedy. This film reverts to the more serious style of the first film. This is a shame, as the second film was overt in not taking itself too seriously. The Expendables 3 has too many moments where it attempts to bring emotion (with lingering shots and the like). Unfortunately this simply is not there.
The film relies on some action heavy set pieces. Some of the effects in the film are poorly executed. Stock footage is used to a noticable point. The violence does feel as if it has been edited for a lower rating. The action works best with the physical combat, of which some of the new additions show their prowess.
Antonio Banderas is a welcome addition to the cast. Harrison Ford and Wesley Snipes seem to be having fun in their roles, while Mel Gibson is well cast. The chemistry between Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham so pushed in all three films still does not generate the laughs that it hopes to.
The Expendables 3 will no doubt satisfy fans of the franchise for its star names and brash action. Any further films need to remember the comedy, and offer a more gripping story.