The Hitman’s Bodyguard: Film Review 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is one of those films that are so difficult to review because you just don’t know what to make of it. It is so thoroughly inconsistent – great one minute and really bad the next – that is really is a headscratcher.

Samuel L. Jackson is Darius Kincaid, an incarcerated hitman who is being transported by Interpol from Manchester to The Hague, where he will testify against dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman). However, there is a mole in Interpol so his men attack them at every turn, so Interpol agent Amelia (Élodie Yung) calls in her ex-boyfriend Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), a special protection agent trying to clean up his reputation following a failed job.

Jackson and Reynolds seem like the perfect comedy pairing and they are, for the most part. They elevate the so-so script and make the film funnier than it should be thanks to their banter, comic line delivery and constant bickering, although this largely consists of them shouting and swearing at each other. Salma Hayek also has a great little role that is so batshit crazy I couldn’t help but giggle.

At times this feels like a deliberate parody but since it hasn’t been labelled as such online, it’s hard to know for sure. In some moments, it’s difficult to figure out if they are deliberately bad to send up the action-comedy genre or just generally terrible. For example, Reynolds’s romance with Amelia feels deliberately cheesy as hell.

There are some very funny moments, I laughed out loud a fair bit and there are plenty of thrilling and entertaining car chases, fist fights, explosions and stunt set pieces and while those are well done, there are some dodgy green screen moments in places. There are also some howlers and the script is too long and all over the place and not even the charm of Jackson and Reynolds works enough to stop their buddy shtick wearing thin. They also play the exact characters you would expect them to play since that’s what they do in everything.

So The Hitman’s Bodyguard isn’t great but it is funny and entertaining enough to please audiences after a mindless popcorn flick.

In cinemas Thursday 17th August 

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