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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Aug 22, 2017

The Hitman’s Bodyguard Movie Review: Perfect Popcorn With Hilarious Interaction Between The Two Leads And Lots Of Car Chases, Gunfights And Explosions

‘THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD’ will remind you of those buddy cops movie before, like “48 Hours” of Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy that was such a big hit it even had a sequel, “Another 48 Hours”, or Jackie Chan and Chris Rock in the “Rush Hour” series and Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the “Lethal Weapon” series.

Now comes Ryan Reynolds teaming up with Samuel L. Jackson in “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”. He plays Michael Bryce, once a top private bodyguard whose reputation suffered when a Japanese gun runner he’s supposed to protect died from sniper fire. He then gets a call from his ex-inamorata, Amelia (Elodie Yung, Elektra in “Daredevil”), an interpol agent who asks him to escort a notorious hitman, Darius Kincaide (Samuel L. Jackson), from England to the Netherlands.

Darius is meant to be a vital witness at the International Court in the Hague against the ruthless dictator of Belarus, Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman, speaking with a Russian accent), whose henchmen have already killed the members of Amelia’s convoy and only she and Darius survived so they’re now hiding in a safehouse.

Amelia then asks Michael to accompany and protect Darius until he gets to The Hague. Michael thinks Amelia is the one who caused his earlier fall from grace but he still insanely cares for her so he agrees to be the bodyguard of hitman Darius, whose wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) is in prison and he agreed to testify in The Hague in exchange for her release.

As directed by Patrick Hughes of “The Expendables 3”, all the usual hardhitting elements you’d expect in an action movie, like car chases, shoot outs, explosions are here to thrill you, peppered with liberal doses of comedy and solid laughs emanating from the ribtickling banter and interplay between Ryan and Samuel. They have hilarious chemistry and are clearly enjoying themselves.

Samuel is the expected scene-stealer here with his usual irreverent and over-the-top performance spiced up with a lot yelling and smirking and killing without any qualms. Ryan has his moments but generally, he allows Samuel to play it to the hilt and hog the limelight, with Salma Hayek also hamming it up as she tries to out-curse Samuel and runs away with her own scenes.

As usual, the odd couple kind of goofy interaction between the two leads starts with antagonism as Darius, a merciless hitman who has killed more than 250 people, has previously tried to kill Michael for so many times. But as the movie goes along, they somehow develop respect and affinity for each other.

We see the unlikely duo being pursued by assassins so they walk through farms, hitchhike with a bus full of nuns and Darius gets to sing with them, take a ferry to Amsterdam to deliver tulips to Darius’ wife, and they engage in a chase involving a speedboat and and motorcycle plowing through restaurants, a hardware store, Amsterdam’s famous canals and its infamous red light district.

This is a perfect popcorn movie that should have been released earlier during the U.S. summer and not now when it’s about to end and their school vacation is over. It doesn’t demand anything from the viewer other than just sit back, relax and have fun watching the action set pieces, all the violence and amusing shenanigans of the actors on the big screen.