“Green Lantern” was arguably one of the worst superhero movies in the last few decades and certainly one of Ryan Reynolds’ worst movies. That is, up until “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”.
With such an all-star cast, including Reynolds as a professional bodyguard and ex-CIA agent Michael Bryce, Samuel L. Jackson as a convicted hitman Darius Kincaid, Salma Hayek as his wife, Sonia Kincaid, and Gary Oldman as the villain, audiences expected better from this movie. It wasn’t the actors that made “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” so bad, however. Reynolds and Jackson were, after all, a part of the same Marvel universe. The two had great chemistry in this movie and riffed off each other for a pretty strong comedic effect. It was, for the most part, the completely unoriginal and predictable plot and writing that made this movie such a flop.
Released in August of this year, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” scored a disappointing 40% on Rotten Tomatoes. It also earned the title of worst Labor Day weekend in the box office, with a revenue of only $13.4 million. At least it remains consistent with the rest of the summer’s mediocre movies and theater turn-out, excluding “Wonder Woman,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Spiderman: Homecoming,” and “Dunkirk.”
This was a very typical, mundane and unexciting film with European security agencies, a double-crossing bad guy and too many car chases; an almost formulaic plot. It was a race-against-the-clock style movie, with Reynolds and Jackson spending an action-packed 24 hours together. Reynolds’ character is tasked with delivering Jackson’s to an international crime court so he can testify as a witness against an Eastern European dictator (Oldman). Jackson is compliant with forces in order to secure his wife’s innocence and Reynold’s involvement is essentially to win his girlfriend and his reputation back.
Inevitably, the two are polar opposites and have a connected past. Jackson is carefree and goes with the flow, while Reynolds is calculated and cautious. They share relationship advice and, of course, come to care for each other in the end.
There was nothing notable in this movie, especially not the excessive use of expletives or the cheesy old music they set the fight scenes to. Camera angles were dizzying, character injuries remained inconsistent and the storyline of how all these American characters ended up tangled up in the European crime-scene was unclear. Jackson jumps off a building with an open gunshot wound in his leg and gets up unscathed, Reynolds is thrown through a car windshield and lands on his feet and, at another point, is given two electric shocks to the head (while covered in a wet towel) and comes out of it moments later without even a scorch mark on his fitted grey suit. Credibility was obviously not a big focus of the movie. It was clear that the film wasn’t trying to take itself too seriously.
A.O. Scott of the New York Times sums the film up quite succinctly, saying, “Samuel L. Jackson is the hitman. Ryan Reynolds is the bodyguard. What more do you need to know?” It was also very honestly dubbed “half-baked” by Empire.
Reynolds’ characteristic wit, Jackson’s badassery and Salma Hayek’s sassy humor are the only reasons this movie is worth watching. It truly coasts on the fame of the cast, which may or may not be unfortunate for Reynolds, whose audiences will see in the premiere of “Deadpool 2” next year. Big names aside, don’t waste your money seeing “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” in theaters.
Julia Mancini is the associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org.