The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021) movie review
In this sequel to the 2017 action/comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) return to help save Darius’s wife Sonia (Salma Hayek). Meanwhile the three of them become entangled with Aristotle Papdopolous (Antonio Banderas), a dangerous man who plans to bring down Europe’s infrastructure. Or something evil like that. Anyway, despite a fairly low opening weekend and middling reviews from critics, the first film managed to be fairly successful once its box office run was complete. While the follow-up seems to be off to a worse reception from critics and audiences, it will still present some competition for the holdovers from the last few weeks at the box office.
I mean, what can I say about this one? If you liked the first film for its fun premise and hilarious cast, despite a paper thin plot, hey this is a worthy successor! Is it as good? No of course not. Is it worth checking out for a few laughs? Again, if you liked the first one, absolutely it is! Just don’t expect a step-up in filmmaking quality…
Right off the bat, it’s very hard to not enjoy this cast. The first film used Ryan Reynolds at his most sarcastic, and Samuel L. “Monkey Fighting” Jackson at his most reckless; and gosh do they work well together! Toss in Selma Hayek and you have quite a trio! And sure the first film totally wastes Gary Oldman just like this film wastes Antonio Banderas, but both those actors give their B-villains a solid performance nonetheless.
I got a good kick out of the first film! But I do remember laughing considerably less on a second viewing (taking my rating from a 7/10 to 6/10.) While I am sure The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is also less fun on a second watch, it was really freaking funny! And I’m not just saying that because I personally like middle-of-the-road sarcastic observational, but Rachel (my review counterpart for those who may not know) does not care for such wit. And she laughed quite alot! (She’ll deny it if you tell her I said that.) The only downside was that, as funny as Reynolds and Hayek were, Samuel L. “Monday to Friday” Jackson doesn’t get quite as much to do this time around.
As fun as the film was, I had trouble getting past how badly it was shot and edited. The quick cuts were jarring and impossible to follow, the sound mixing was very inconsistent, and even the pacing felt a little rocky. The first film’s no Josh Wick (2014) when it comes to quality, but it was at least decent. Or so I remember it being. Gosh if I weren’t laughing throughout this movie I would have had a headache by the end of it. Also while they don’t exactly waste Antonio Banderas as the villain, they do totally waste Frank Grillo.
Also don’t expect sentiment. This film does focus on character development for all three protagonists, more or less, but rarely dwells on the weight of those arcs. Occasionally the film stops for some heartwarming moments, only to upend them with comedy and oh so much language! I think the reaction people will have from this missed opportunity to be more sincere will depend on your expectations from this movie. Is it a bummer to ruin some potentially great moments? yeah. Did I expect those moments to exist in the first place? No way.
So yeah, it’s not great. The story is pretty weak, the villain is mostly forgettable, and everyone who isn’t Reynolds, Jackson, and Hayek doesn’t get a whole lot to do. Even those three have most of the more genuine moments of character growth overshadowed by the humor. That said, it is a comedy, and as a comedy, it kept my laughing and entertained. It is also an action/comedy, and the action is pretty terrible. So in all fairness, I’m giving The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard a 5/10, because if I give it a 6, the next time I watch it, I’ll give it a 5. But there’s the takeaway! I’d watch this movie again! So it’s not great, but hey, it’s a fun time if you enjoyed the first!
So The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard? Did you see it yet? What did you think? And what would you pitch for The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’s Sequel? Be sure to let us know in the comment below! And hey if you liked our Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’s Review and you want to read more like it, leave a like and/or a comment below and let us know what we should talk about next!
-review by Ryan Prince