Familiar But Fun: Our Review of ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - August 18, 2017
Familiar But Fun: Our Review of ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’

Even the most dangerous men in the world need a little bit of protection…

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a goofy but fun little throw back to the action romps from days of yore where logic and reason get thrown out the door for some gonzo violence.  It’s not high art, but it is a high pedigree yarn where everyone involved has bought into the material.

When the top protection agent in the world (Ryan Reynolds) falls on hard times he has to end up protecting some less then desirable people, but he never expected this.  Tasked to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world’s most notorious hit men (Samuel L. Jackson) this relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to The Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator (Gary Oldman) who is out for blood.

It’s an 80’s esque balls out action romp that doesn’t overload us with exposition and is simply meant to be a fun two hours at the cinema where you can turn your brain off and just run with the ride and while we’ll admit that it’s more than a little too long, it does more than enough to get the job done.

Director Patrick Hughes is building himself a nice little career as a go to guy for mid-budget action cinematic rides and he doesn’t disappoint this time around.  It’s a fast moving and well shot affair that keeps the action in the forefront as the narrative chugs along at a decent clip.  The script from the relatively inexperienced Tom O’Connor won’t win any awards but it is in tune with the sensibilities of both leading men as the film isn’t without its fair share of jokes to go along with the action.  It’s all a straight to video thriller 101 type of story that used to do gangbusters in the 1980’s but it allows for a dry sense of wit allowing for the satirical overtones of it all to shine through.

Both Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson were Taylor made for this ride since it really is two hours of them throwing barbs and quips back at each other while things blow up all around them.  They play off of each other exceptionally well all take us exactly where they are supposed to.  Neither man is even attempting to pass this off as Chekov and there is something to be said for the fact when actors are really in tune with the material that they are given and the fun that both men are obviously having while on set for this one is just absolutely infectious.  Gary Oldman matches their energy with just the right kind of menace and crazy that we haven’t seen from him since The Professional however with Salma Hayek, Elodie Yung and Joaquim de Almeida rounding out the ensemble these supporting players just don’t get that much to do, particularly with Salma who the film just needed more of in the right doses.

While this feels like it was some casting choices away from being an above average VOD affair, The Hitman’s Bodyguard checks off all the boxes as a fun experience in the theatre, just don’t expect to remember too much about it after the credits roll.

This post was written by
David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.