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The Hitman’s Bodyguard review: over-the-top action overshadows good comedic timing

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 25 August 2017, 0:05 IST
(Film still)

The comedic timing between Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) is undeniable but there is little else to back it up. The action sequences are half-baked while cheesy music plays in the background and the characters on screen abuse a little too much. This sums up Patrick Hughes The Hitman’s Bodyguard.

It’s the typical buddy action movie, a Hollywood staple of the 80s and 90s. The plot is pretty simple. Kincaid, the hitman and Bryce, the bodyguard, are on a mission to get from London to the Hague, where the trial is taking place, without getting killed, something that is easier said than done. On the way, an inexhaustible number of Belarusian mercenaries are sent to prevent Kincaid from giving testimony against warlord Vladislav Dukhovich (Garry Oldman).

The movie is essentially a violent Eurotrip through the streets of the United Kingdom, Italy and finally Amsterdam and The Hague. The violence keeps the body count high, each one more brutal than the previous. It’s a kind of stale action seen before and you have a feeling that the body count is way over-the-top.

Jackson plays a role that he’s been trying to live up to since he perfected it in Quentin Tarantino’s hit 90s film, Pulp Fiction. He’s witty, foul-mouthed and an assassin who justifies his role with every step that he takes.  On the other hand, you have a non-stop talking Reynolds, who is a super-detailed bodyguard that can’t stop complaining when something in his plan goes wrong.

Salma Hayek, who plays Jackson’s husband, tries her best to charm the audience in her limited role. Oldman is as bland as he can get.

It’s hard pressed to remember any single action-sequences with explosions that seem to have gone way over their budget. Every time you’re looking for a breather from the action, comes another body flying out of a vehicle. You leave the theatre thinking that this could have better been marketed as a straight to TV movie.

Film poster

The movie could have used some better music. If only the movie had borrowed from the summer’s biggest surprise, Baby Driver, which had a superb soundtrack. Then maybe the car chases sequences would have gone down better with the audience.

Should you watch it?

Yes and no. Yes, if you have nothing else to do over the weekend and want some nonsensical explosions on the big screen in front of you. No, if you’d can wait till it comes on TV and would like to save your money instead.

Rating: 2/5

First published: 25 August 2017, 0:05 IST
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.