30 Rock, Child 44, Deadpool, Downton Abbey, Elodie Yung, Game of Thrones, Gary Oldman, Harry Potter, Kingsman, Pulp Fiction, Richard E. Grant, Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Samuel L Jackson, The Proposal, Ugly Betty
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool, The Proposal) is Michael Bryce, a former Triple A bodyguard based in London, who due to the unfortunate death of a client, has hit hard times and is now struggling to be taken seriously as a bodyguard. Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Kingsman) is Darius Kincaid a hitman serving time in Manchester Prison who becomes a key witness in the case against Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman, Harry Potter, Child 44), the former President of Belarus who is on trial for crimes against humanity. The case against Dukhovich isn’t going well as any witness’ testifying against him keep mysteriously disappearing, therefore it is down to Kincaid’s testimony to make sure Dukhovich is imprisoned. Interpol arrange for Kincaid’s journey from Manchester to Amsterdam – where the trial is taking place – but moments into the journey they are ambushed by Dukhovich’s men, making it clear that there is a mole within Interpol. Agent Roussel (Elodie Yung) who was leading the Interpol group is forced to put Kincaid under Bryce’s care. Not only is there history between Roussel and Bryce but there is no love lost between the two men either. The story continues with the men having to put their differences aside and make their way to Amsterdam all the while being pursued by Dukhovich’s men.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is actually a very good film (I won’t lie, I was only initially attracted to the film because of Ryan Reynolds!) but both Ryan and Samuel L. Jackson are brilliant actors and know how to work comedy naturally into action films. There are some fantastic one liners and some genuine laugh out loud moments. The partnership both on and off screen between the lead men is clear to see, making their dialogue natural and believable. Both characters, though ultimately doing the same line of work, have very different approaches to their jobs and this is evident throughout as the two men clash over how to tackle every obstacle thrown their way. Ryan’s character Bryce is sensible and only resorts to killing if absolutely necessary. Kincaid on the other hand will shoot first and deal with the consequences later. Both actors play their roles perfectly, and it’s not all about the action, there are some more emotional scenes from the pair as various secrets are revealed, making us understand their characters better and forging a connection with them.
The action scenes are filmed brilliantly and there are plenty of different sequences to keep the film moving, from car chases to stairwell fights there is something for everyone. Rated 15 the violence is a little gory so if you’re squeamish maybe look away for a few minutes!
The supporting cast is full of some brilliant characters, Gary Oldman is unrecognisable as Dukhovich, Richard E. Grant (Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey) has a very small role as one of Bryce’s clients but the stand out is Salma Hayek (Ugly Betty, 30 Rock) who plays Kincaid’s very unhinged wife Sonia. Sonia is herself serving time in prison in Amsterdam and is incredibly fiery towards not only her poor cellmate but towards Kincaid himself and even the prison guards. Her scenes definitely bring the most laughs and her dysfunctional relationship with Kincaid is shown to us through flashbacks. Salma and Samuel are great opposite each other, what’s very sweet though is that though Kincaid is this notorious killer he is brought down to earth by his love for his wife. This continuous declaration of love is what ultimately bonds the men as Kincaid strives to help Bryce sort his estranged relationship with ex-girlfriend Agent Roussel.
Overall, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a surprisingly good film, the inclusion of the romantic side in Kincaid means that it’s not just another all-action film. The pairing of Reynolds and Jackson is perfect, two great actors doing what they do best by combining action and comedy. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a fun, dramatic and very enjoyable film, there are twists and turns throughout and each character is portrayed brilliantly. If you can stomach a bit of gore I would definitely recommend this!