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The Hitman’s Bodyguard Review - Slapstick Comedy, A Dramatic Euro Modern Action Film

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard, from Summit Entertainment and Millennium Media, present a dramatic action comedy of epic proportions  with solid action, slapstick comedy, stunning car chases through idyllic European cities,  modern storytelling,  and just a tinge of romance.

Directed by Patrick Hughes, The Hitman’s Bodyguard stars Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Selman Hayek, Joaquim De Almeida, Elodie Yung, Kristy Mitchell and Richard E. Grant and was written by Tom O’Conner.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard begins with the best of times: Michael Bryce, played by Ryan Reynolds, is at the top of his game, a triple A rated security agency, the world’s best, known for his boring but capable delivery of heads of state, world leaders, oil billionaires, you name the elite of the elite all protected by Bryce.

On this day, his futuristic home, a euro modern innovation complete with hidden room, secret weapons, and obligatory beautiful woman, whom we later find out is Amelia Roussel, played by Elodie Yung, an up and coming Interpol Agent.

Life is beautiful as Reynolds in voice over explains the towering heights of elite security protection as he drops off Mr. Kurosawa, played by Tsuwayuki Saotome, to a private jet waiting to whisk him and his team away when suddenly blood splatters on the plane’s window and suddenly, Bryce who is watching from the tarmac realizes in a single moment his triple A rating just fell dramatically.

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Bryce still in the protection business after the debacle on the tarmac, now handles corporate executives gone bad, with no real investment necessary should history repeat itself.

Moving from London to some nation with a ringtone of Russia we met Vladislav Dukhovich, played by Gary Oldman, a ruthless dictator along the lines of Europe’s most notorious dictators, Assad, Milosevic, who wants information and when he doesn’t get it he explains the importance of family. The implication is clear and the conclusion inevitable.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard moves to The Hauge where an international Tribunal is hearing testimony from as Dukhovich is on trial for war crimes. It looks as if the former dictator may return home unless a witness can be produced that will corroborate the war crimes he stands accused of committing.

Enter Darius Kincaid, played by Samuel L. Jackson, the world most notorious hitman and one with a reputation of the World’s Best, the World’s Worst dictator would of course want to make his acquaintance.

In prison, Kincaid has one sweet spot and when Interpol Agents  present him with a deal that allows his soul mate and wife Sonia, played by Selma Hayek, to walk free from her cell in Amsterdam, he is willing to testify.

 

A mole in the agency makes transporting Kincaid impossible as agents are ambushed in Manchester, and Bryce’s old flame, whom he has given the cell phone contact name, Pure Evil, Amelia is the agent in charge of delivery Kincaid calls him to assist.

What follows is a combination of slapstick comedy, fast action, as Bryce and Kincaid, a reflection of Chaos and Mayhem, make their way to The Hauge dodging bullets, bombs and boring.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is entertainment and it is good entertainment.  I liked it.

The story, of course, is based in the years of violence and oppression some peoples and nations faced and that is not at any time dealt with in a comedic sense. Those scenes are clear a grave injustice has been done and justice must prevail.

Delivering justice, while never clean, has great moments of heightened suspense as some of the best car chases seen in a long time are played out in The Hitman’s Bodyguard. The cobble stone streets and canals of picturesque Amsterdam are alive with cars, motorcycles and boat chases.


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Ryan Reynolds plays button upped Mr. Boring against Samuel L. Jackson’s wild over the top, really just a hitman in love, have to send my Sonia a message.

Gary Oldman, I want to say, what can one say, he plays bad so very good. The role here reminds me of one of his finer portrayals as Ivan Korshunov in Air Force One, a very bad man with equally bad intentions.

Selma Hayek, steps away from demure and delvers powerhouse as her role as Sonia. The banter between Darius and Sonia, is sickly sweet.

Also special mention to Joaquim De Almeida, who is working all the time, and still fans may remember him from Clear and Present Danger, as the sexy assassin.  

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is fast action fun from its London’s beginning, driving across Europe, which moviegoers have seen more of lately, to Amsterdam and the dynamic conclusion. Packed between the 111 minutes are wild highspeed pursuits, explosions, stunts and reckless action especially as Reynolds’ character is solid, a boy scout against Jackson’s affable contract killer with an ethical compass, lives in the now, as all roads lead to Sonia.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard has all the right ingredients for a solid summer entertainment and balances the story of the heartless, brutal, cruel dictator with slapstick comedy, two men with no GPS, and a tinge of romance.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard opens August 18, 2017 and is playing in theaters everywhere.  See it.

 

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