The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard: Film Review

The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard

Courtesy of Lionsgate

I didn’t have particularly high hopes for The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard because of A) the hideous title and B) the first one not being very good, so I wasn’t all that surprised when it turned out be pretty naff.

Following on from the events of the 2017 movie, this sequel begins with Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) coming to terms with losing his AAA security licence and taking a much-needed break, but his peace is interrupted by con woman Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) who tracks him down and asks for his help rescuing her husband, hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), who has been taken by mobsters. However, they are all captured by Interpol agent Bobby O’Neill (Frank Grillo), who forces them to take down shipping tycoon Aristotle Papadopoulus (Antonio Banderas), a criminal mastermind planning to destroy the European power grid.

If you saw the first movie, which was loud, over-the-top and all over the place, then you have a good idea of what to expect from this instalment – it’s basically more of the same but with Hayek in a leading role instead of a minor one like before. It is brash, violent, messy and excessive, with director Patrick Hughes trying to cram in as many shootouts, explosions, and swearing as possible into this movie. It’s like he just decided to go for quantity over quality and threw in every idea.

You don’t really need to pay much attention to the plot because it’s incredibly silly, cliched and lazy and just a basic framework on which to hang all the yelling, insults, profanity and action sequences. It feels like the producers didn’t really have a story for the sequel so just cobbled together something so they could fulfil the requirements of “Guns! Action! Swearing! Explosions!” We’re somehow expected to believe that Aristotle wants to destroy the grid and data centre in retaliation for the European Union imposing sanctions on Greece. Errr, OK?! That seems a bit extreme. Plus, Banderas neither looks or sounds remotely Greek.

Not all the comedy works and that’s largely down to the weak script and the fact it relies too heavily on the belief that people yelling expletives at each other is funny. It can be on occasion and it made me laugh a few times (mostly in the beginning), but the novelty wears off quickly.

Reynolds carries the movie and does exactly what you’d expect Reynolds to do in a Reynolds film considering his performances are the same in everything. He is the funniest member of the cast, possibly because his brand of humour is different to his co-stars – he doesn’t rely on profanity or yelling – and he has brilliant reaction faces.

Hayek made me laugh a fair bit too but her character is just so loud and brash and OTT. However, I will praise her for throwing her all into the part, which is more than can be said for Jackson, who phones it in. I found it bizarre that Banderas was cast as a Greek character but I loved his outfits and he was suitably camp. Morgan Freeman makes a small appearance for comedy purposes but otherwise doesn’t make much of an impact. I was excited to see how Richard E. Grant, who is in the first film, would appear in this follow-up and his cameo is ridiculously brief.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is lazy, cliched and filled with stereotypical one-note characters and action sequences that are edited in a messy way. Admittedly, it doesn’t take itself seriously or pretend to be anything more than it is – a mindless popcorn flick – so remember to switch your brain off at the door.

In cinemas now

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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