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.