Seen 26th August
Sometimes, a film doesn’t need that much to be a good time. A good script, a decent set of shot choices and a fun story can often make a good film an easy way to kill 90 minutes. What makes it work best is if you can take all these elements and hand it to two insanely charismatic stars who can carry the film and kick it up several notches through sheer force of personality alone… this film found four such stars and thank god for that.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is simplistic in its plot. Ryan Reynolds plays a bodyguard who has to get Samuel Jackson to the Hague in order to testify against Gary Oldman’s evil dictator character. Along the way, some shit happens. That’s it, that’s the plot and it’s simple as can be. The good thing about a simple plot is that it’s impossibly difficult to screw it up and this film doesn’t do that, it figures out where it’s going and what it’s doing quickly and it does it, which is fine. The script is serviceable, the character arcs make sense and I never felt lost during it. I understood that it’s a film where two characters get from point A to point B, and that’s what I needed. Occasionally there’s a good fun action setpiece with a lot of gunfire and actual stakes, and it’s all good. It has all the elements to be a good action film that’s a fun trip and makes you walk out with a smile on your face.
What this film has that sets it apart is 4 individuals. Samuel Jackson, Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek and Gary Oldman. Those four people work off each other brilliantly when needed. Gary Oldman provides us with one of the most disturbing villains that Gary has played in recent years, he became terrifying within about 50 seconds of appearing on screen and that didn’t end until the final scene of the film. Salma Hayek get’s limited screen time and uses every second of it, including using the word “Motherfucker” in a way that is even more powerful than when Samuel Motherfucking Jackson uses it. Speaking of Samuel Motherfucking Jackson, he uses the term motherfucker so much that I’m now desensitized to the motherfucking word and believe it to be a motherfucking comma, and it’s motherfucking brilliant. Ryan Reynolds is an absolute delight, being a kick-ass action hero when he needs to be and being vulnerable when the time is right. Also, he says motherfucker a lot too, there is a lot of motherfucking swearing in this motherfucking film.
A film often relies on greatness from everyone, but with these four leading the cast you really don’t need to do much. They’re a delight to watch, I would gleefully go see another film that’s just these 4 people taking a road trip to buy sandwiches because they work so well off each other whenever they share screen time. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel Motherfucking Jackson especially work well off each other with comedic chemistry that many people would kill for. Scenes of them just talking while driving are some of the best moments in the movie, they bounce off each other with such ease that I’m convinced they’re ad-libbing… I’m also just going to assume the word “Motherfucker” isn’t in the script as much as it appears in this movie, that’s just something that pops up when you hire these two leading men to carry your film.
It’s a good fun film with a good fun plot and a good fun set of actors who are clearly having a good fun time, and sometimes just being a good fun film is good enough.