I am sure there are people out there who loved The Hitman’s Bodyguard…but there cannot possibly be a lot of them, right? Well at least enough that would warrant getting a sequel made. I will admit, I had a ball watching Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson doing their thing. The film was just two charismatic actors being charismatic with a loosely written plot around it. But then Selma Hayek showed up for a few minutes and everyone loved her! I guess that was enough to get Lionsgate to make another…and the $176.6 million it made did not hurt.
Besides making an excuse to get the gang back together, how does The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard stand up? Honestly, the film does feel like just an excuse to have Reynolds, Jackson, and Hayek back together for another round of fun. Jackson is kidnapped, Reynolds’s license is revoked, Hayek is horny and wants a family, and Antonio Banderas is somehow a Greek man trying to send the rest of Europe back to the Dark Ages. Yeah…a real nuanced plot. At least it is fun, right? And that is true! I did have fun watching this movie…in between all my questions related to the logic of this story. Director Patrick Hughes throws everything at the wall in this film with reckless abandon. I guess they hoped that audiences would not question anything if they were having a good time.
But let us be serious…we all came to this movie for the actors and the action. Reynolds is so funny and energetic playing the sensitive and insecure straight man to the insane combo of Jackson and Hayek. No one can argue that Reynolds is not putting his best foot forward. Jackson on the other hand feels like he is just doing his old schtick (which is still fun). Hayek is just letting it all out with a performance that swings wild in every direction. Her commitment to this silly film is much appreciated. Banderas does not get much to do in this half-baked villain role, but I am huge fan of his…so I was pleased. Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo, and Richard E. Grant all pop up too because the first four big names were not enough but like Banderas, they do not have much to work with. Freeman is the one who really feels like he is phoning it in.
But how is the action? Absurd! That is the simplest way to describe it. Think of all the craziest 80’s action movies you can think of, steal all the energy, and just throw them all into this flick. There are boisterous shootouts, Scarface references, and poorly rendered CGI explosions all over the place. If you like some big dumb action that are completely over-the-top that you almost must laugh, then you have come to the right place!
Did you really think this sequel was going to happen? I really did not. But was it worth the effort to throw this film together? It really depends on your standards. Do you have high standards for your action films? If so, this will never reach them. The plot is absurd but not as absurd as the characters or the action. Big…bold…bombastic, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard might just be that big dumb fun we need during the COVID life.