Summer movie season is starting to putter out, but the movie magic continues to trickle to get a buck out of us. This weekend tries to muster up some chuckles in the form of not one, but wo comedies that look to be more of the same. I start my weekend off with The Hitman’s Bodyguard starring the dynamic duo Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. With dynamic comedy styles and a track list of movies behind them, one can only wonder what these two bring to the big screen this weekend. Fortunately, I have the privilege of providing that information and giving you some insight. Let’s get started on another review, shall we?
Soundtrack: Always good to have a soundtrack with quality music and surprisingly Hitman’s Bodyguard kills it on this aspect. Much of the music fits in with the scenes, often used as a comedic ploy to compound on the humor presented in the movie. They even managed to make the action even more exciting with the music, primarily during Black Betty’s epic guitar solo. One way or another though, you may find yourself tapping your feet to the soundtrack at hand.
Action: When they say action/comedy they mean action comedy alright. Hitman’s Bodyguard has edge packed into its gun happy, pro-violence run and in a variety of styles that help diversify the plot. Jackson and Reynolds, or at least their doubles, are involved in a variety of stunts that mix martial arts, weaponry mastery, and insane driving on their journey to testify. I myself had an adrenaline-fueled blast with the movie, but one fan hollered in approval at the hardcore action contained in this film, despite how illogical, unrealistic, or death defying they were. And as a note, the camera work is quite stable to pull off an approval from yours truly.
Comedy: The leading component of this film though, is the comedy loaded in to the firearm that is this film. I found myself laughing for most of the movie at the writing this film had. The screenplay writers had a field day with the dialogue of this film, stretching their minds to deliver lines worthy of cheap laughs to witty gold. I certainly enjoyed the entire spectrum in this movie, but really enjoyed the timing of the jokes and the delivery from the two leading actors, especially Jackson, sold the line for full price. While certainly not the best writing to grace Hollywood, Hitman’s Bodyguard hits some balance that other comedies ignores.
Jokes grow stale: Despite all the antics packed into this pistol, many of the potshots are crafted into the same mold and fired so rapidly that they quickly lose their punch. Reynolds’ angles are the biggest victim of going stale and becoming more eye rolling/annoying than gut busting. I have to agree with my fellow reviewers in how the movie is relentlessly throwing jokes at you during the film and it gets tiring after a while, especially when interrupting the more serious moments.
Gary Oldman’s character: Oldman is a master of playing those grittier roles and he didn’t shy away from the communist leader role in this film. Sadly, the villains have little bite, reduced to threatening facial gestures (amidst unimpressive makeup), a few grandiose speeches, and oh yes, a running scene. The worst part though has to be the accent and direction Oldman gave the character, which sounded forced, stretched, and uncommitted to the character at hand. This protagonist was boring and outside Oldman’s normal range, leaving the flunkies to bring the pain. Had they focused on his lieutenant a little more, we may have had a real ringer.
Jackson’s catchphrase: I know, you get Jackson, you often get a certain phrase alongside him, and Hitman’s Bodyguard is no exception. This film is relentless with their cursing, focusing on the magical F word and all its iterations as the primary ammunition for comedy. Jackson in particular goes overboard with these words and while funny at times, gets old after a while. Salma Hayek’s cameo was a welcome change to the mix, but with the lazy writing and merchandising off this word, I can’t get on board with their overuse. To quote the movie, Jackson may be destroying the MF phrase, which is hard to do.
I had fun with Hitman’s Bodyguard and enjoying the approach this movie took with comedy and action. It’s go simplistic, unoriginal stunts that are predictable, but it is nicely executed keep your heart pumping. In addition, the laughs are nicely integrated into the film to go along with the pace of the movie and not diverging down the slow, unnecessary paths that most do. Still, it’s not the most unique movie to grace the theaters and like many films is unable to obtain that balance of using their gimmicks. Throw in the over utilization of the F word and well…you see where it gets panned on. Still, it is an enjoyable ride for a movie venture, but your money many be better spent elsewhere.
Movie Overall: 5.0