Directed by: Patrick Hughes
Written by: Tom O’Connor
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Elodie Yung
One of my all-time favorite movies is Die Hard. It’s a great flick, packed with action, sprinkled with humor, with good guys and bad guys and a great ending. During my viewing of The Hitman’s Bodyguard I thought to myself “Wow, this is almost as good as Die Hard! The Hitman’s Bodyguard has lots of action, car chases, a boat chase, gunfire, two super funny characters, profanity galore, and Samuel L. Jackson being, quite frankly, a bad ass.
Michael Bryce (Reynolds) is, as he refers to himself, a AAA-level special protection agent. He is very good at his job. Until one of his high-profile clients is assassinated right in front of him. This leads him on a downward spiral until two years later, when he is still doing his job, but living in his car, separated from his girlfriend, Interpol Agent Amelia Roussel (Yung), with a kind of dead look in his eyes. It’s like he is just going through the motions, living from one day to the next.
Darius Kincaid (Jackson) is a hit man. THE hit man, and he needs a bodyguard to protect him as he travels from the United Kingdom to the International Court of Justice (The Hague, Netherlands) to attend the trial of Vladislav Dukhovich (Oldman), a truly evil man. Darius is a witness for the prosecution in the case against Dukhovich, a brutal and bloodthirsty dictator who will walk free if Darius does not testify against him.
As one of the agents assigned to Kincaid’s protection as they depart the United Kingdom, Agent Roussel is stunned when her convoy is ambushed. She and Kincaid are the only ones who survive the attack. Clearly someone on her team has been compromised, and with no clue who the dirty agent is, she turns to the only person she can – Michael Bryce. When Bryce gets the call from Pure Evil (Agent Roussel’s contact name in his phone) he agrees to assist her.
His goodwill is short-lived when he finds out who he is assigned to protect. Kincaid and Bryce have a history, with Kincaid having attempted, unsuccessfully, to kill Bryce multiple times. Once Agent Roussel makes him an offer he can’t refuse (deliver Kincaid alive to The Hague and she will help him re-attain his AAA-level status) he agrees to the mission.
The duo set off together, leaving a Safe House in Manchester en route to The Hague. Of course, nothing goes as planned. The bad guys are hot on their trail and it’s a race against the clock as Bryce and Kincaid are forced to work together to complete the mission. Neither Bryce nor Kincaid are truly all good or all bad, but a mix of both, as we find out via flashbacks as they tell each other their backgrounds during their travels.
While only in a few scenes, Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) definitely made an impression. Wow. A spicy Mexican, Sonia is Darius’s wife. She is in jail in the Netherlands, but I wasn’t sure if she was being held on charges or if it was just for her protection. I think it was a little of both. Ryan Reynolds has the role of Exasperated Guy down pat, and he is the perfect foil to Samuel L. Jackson and his special brand of crazy.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard had it all: action, gunfights, physical comedy, comedy in general, and an exciting race against time. This will definitely be on my Blu-ray shelf when it’s released. I’ve heard some complaints about a cliched plot but really, hasn’t everything been done already? I appreciated this for what it was, pure entertainment. Go see it for yourself and enjoy!