The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (2021) Review
HOLLYWOOD A-Lister Ryan Reynolds has made a name for himself headlining comedic successes such as Deadpool and the inaugural film in The Hitman's Bodyguard franchise in 2017. Alongside Samuel L Jackson, the one-off buddy movie proved to be a financial success, prompting the greenlighting of a sequel four years later. But has the near 5-year wait been worth it, or does the hitman's latest venture miss its target?
After his previous job of protecting assassin Darius Kincaid (Samuel L Jackson) severely traumatizes him, causing his bodyguard licence to get revoked, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is recommended he embark on a personal vacation to rehabilitate. However, during his relaxation, Darius' wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) forces Bryce to help her locate her kidnapped husband. Soon after his inevitable rescue, the threesome are stuck working with each other to stop a more heinous criminal: Aristotle Papadopoulos (Antonio Banderas), an international kingpin wanting to reshape Europe in his own image.
The plot may not be the most original, and the villain's goal may not always be clear, but Patrick Hughes' latest feature embraces its far from subtle comedy and action to create a film that knows how ridiculous it is without ever feeling like a parody of itself.
Jackson and Hayek may be kayfabe married throughout the film, but it's Reynolds and Hayek that end up having the best chemistry. Reynolds embraces his comedic straight man persona; a role he now excels in, with Hayek being the outrageous sidekick who will stop at nothing to find her husband, and despite her actions and performance being egregious at times, she does a great job at being hilarious without leaning too far into the nonsensical department. Frank Grillo, Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas also do a fine job in their limited screentime, but do feel a little wasted by the conclusion, particularly Grillo who delivered some fantastic one-liners that were both timed to perfection and in-line with his off-the-rails cop character.
Having previously directed The Expendables 3, Patrick Hughes is certainly no stranger to over-the-top action, and while The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard may not be on the same level of insanity as the third Expendables, this film still has plenty of absurd action to keep audiences "engaged". Hayek's continual fits of rage result in majority of the action, most of which was well-choreographed, but by the time the final battle came around, the fight felt uneventful as the film's brutality had peaked mid-way through during the fantastic nightclub and car chase scenes where the leading trio lucked their way past highly-skilled assassins which was only enhanced by the fake out sequence prior to the real action. This isn't to say that the action was bad, but if not for peaking too early, the entire movie could have been much more eventful by the end.
The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard is exactly what you expect it to be: dumb fun. Reynolds, Jackson and Hayek do a great job carrying the film, and despite having minor pacing problems at the halfway point, the film touched on a surprising amount of emotional topics, all of which were properly balanced alongside hilarious dark comedy. I may not re-watch Patrick Hughes' latest blockbuster anytime soon, but The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard provided me with a ton of fun and mindless action to boot; an easy recommendation if you're searching for a quick, raunchy, "turn your brain off" kind of comedy.