Is it me or are comedies getting progressively worse? Maybe it’s my old age, 26 not exactly being THAT old however, I find it a rarity for me to now go and see a comedy and leave the cinema with a belly ache from laughing so hard. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, just as I would have been ten years ago however, the main difference is that I would have lapped up all of the jokes in this film and been ready to call this one of the best films of the year ten years ago, whereas now at the grand old age of 26, I found it almost painful to sit through at times.
Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is regarded as one of the top bodyguards in the business but when he’s assigned to protect Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), a notorious hitman and also someone Bryce has had ties with before, it might not be the easiest assignment of his career. Getting Kincaid to a courtroom to testify against ruthless dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) comes with its fair share of obstacles.
Patrick Hughes is a relatively inexperienced director, with The Expendables 3 being one of his only films, and it really does show with the bombastic action that The Hitman’s Bodyguard possesses. Aside from a high-octane speedboat chase through Amsterdam, the action in this film is very underwhelming.
The other major selling point of this film, the comedy, is where it falters as well. It takes a while for Reynolds and Jackson to actually share a scene and the wait for that to actually happen is just tedious. The first half hour is pretty bad and luckily the pair sort of save the film from being a complete disaster by sharing some form of chemistry to enjoy. The writing is painstakingly mediocre and wastes the opportunity to make this one of the comedies of the year by opting for fart jokes and foul language.
Frustratingly there are some very funny moments, particularly when Kincaid tells Bryce about how he met his wife however, these moments are very few and very far between. When the biggest laugh in a comedy is when a woman farts you should be worried.
Coming to the performances, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson just about keep this film afloat with plenty of verbal sparring, Reynolds bringing the sarcasm and Jackson doing what Jackson does best by being himself. Gary Oldman comes out all guns blazing as the villainous Dukhovich, Elodie Yung doesn’t get a chance to show off any of the skills we’ve seen from here in Daredevil and Salma Hayek makes for one of the most irritating characters of the year as Sonia Kincaid, Darius’ wife.
Loud, foul-mouthed and aggressive, and that’s just Samuel L. Jackson, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is unfortunately a major disappointment for me. I want to see more effort put into comedies from the major studios because what we get most of the time gets tiresome pretty fast.