The Hitman’s Bodyguard Proves That Opposites Sometimes Don’t Attract

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The actors who play Deadpool and Nick Fury respectively has banded together to attempt to create another oddball action/buddy comedy who must complete a task and prey they don’t kill each other by the end of the mission. We have seen this so many times on screen and at this point it really just depends on the chemistry brought on by its leads.

On this go, Lionsgate brings you Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson that will have to work together and make it to a court date so that a testimony can put a very bad man behind bars. Reynold’s character Michael Bryce is a top bodyguard whose new client Jackson’s Darius Kincaid, a hitman who has some vital information to a big case in London, England. There are forces that don’t want him to make it to the courthouse and Bryce and Kincaid who have bad blood towards one another will have to settle their difference and huge personalities to make it there on time and alive.

This film provided some laughs but it’s not the best film I believe this movie could have been. There are things I did like about this movie but overall but there are better pairings I’ve seen out there. So, the plot is a bit similar to the movie Midnight Run starring Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin. Which is one of many films that have used the same format. The marketing for this movie is great. Using the literal poster and spoofing of the film The Bodyguard is a great touch to get people interested in the film. Obviously, you are going to see that this movie is going to try and have as much fun as possible when you are watching the trailer. Watching the film, director Patrick Hughes and writer Tom O’Connor tried to throw in as many opposite attributes to make you laugh. Just think of the popularization that the Odd Couple brings you.

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One is always stiff, by the book, plays by the rules, suit and tie, rational type of guy (Reynolds) and the risk taker, somewhat sloppy, spontaneous, bluntly honest and laid-back character to counter the others actions (Jackson). Usually in their own respective films they play the opposite of what you see in The Hitman’s Bodyguard. I like that approach with these characters. I think that also called on Jackson to be even crazier than we see him. My thing about that is that it kind of back fired matched with this script that he is usually at his funniest when he is more of the rational, angry, serious type of character. In this one he was just a little too silly for me to believe it or find it humorous. He wasn’t a total bore or anything but there were definite scenes that fell flat hard. Reynolds on the other hand worked with his character because while Reynolds is usually the mischievous one in his films, he played the annoyed and frustrated bodyguard pretty well with his sarcastic and “had it up to here” attitude.

Aside from the characters it was the mix of ethnicities, having a black and white guy as the pair who must get along. Dating back to 48 hrs. to Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon, and Rush Hour etc. and I’m sure there are plenty more out there. This format seems to be attractive to see played out on screen. I don’t think it’s a disadvantage strategy but it does seem a little gimmicky at this point because it is overused at this point. I would say that in regards to casting that Salma Hayek, who lately has taken roles you are not use to seeing her play. In this regard, it’s a no holds barred trash talking foul mouth wife to Kincaid’s character. She was a hoot in this film. Not much of a huge role but she dominated her presence on screen when her time came and each time you were guaranteed to laugh.

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This opposite attract buddy comedy film falls between the magic that Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan created in their franchise in Rush Hour and the missed opportunity Kevin Smith film with Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan’s buddy cop comedy Cop Out

The action was there including all the above with gun shoot outs, great fight scenes, and loud car chases down the streets of London. No dull moment in that category. The humor and wit unfortunately missed a mark in a lot of scenes. Some predictable and expected jokes because of how opposite they are. A plan will be initiated and just when you think they will go with the plan one doesn’t causing more unnecessary drama in their lives while not being funny. Also, this movie sometimes plays out as if it was made 10 or 20 years ago. When you are taking two of the loudest foul mouth men in the movie and have them associate with a bus full of nuns, to me that is when you have run out of steam and are just filling the gaps to your script. Sister Act should be the only movie in existence now that should be allowed to use nuns as a punchline. I will say that it was unexpected to see that there were moments where the two professionally trained killers would bound over their past and also how they use what they learned in their work and apply it to their lives as a whole.

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Bottom line is that this movie isn’t up to its potential given the people involved. The chemistry between Reynolds and Jackson worked to a certain degree but honestly it just felt like a yelling contest to see who can out stage the other with the delivery of their jokes and physical comedy. Plus, if anyone is familiar with Samuel L. Jackson and his movies. He says the word motherfucker at least once in just about every movie and role he has taken. Since he has been playing Nick Fury in the Marvel films which are usually PG-13, he hasn’t been able to meet his quota and this movie gave him the opportunity to catch up and to throw in even more for the next 5 movie roles. Reynold’s character Bryce even points out as he is sharing to a total stranger one of the reasons why he hates Kincaid is, “He has equivalently ruined the word “motherfucker”. This opposite attract buddy comedy film falls between the magic that Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan created in their franchise in Rush Hour and the missed opportunity Kevin Smith film with Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan’s buddy cop comedy Cop Out. If anything, you will walk out and just think it was an okay comedy.

2 1/2 out of 5

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