The sequel to 2017’s action hit The Hitman’s Bodyguard drops with more of what made the first one a financial success, if not a critical one, but not much new – and that’s ok!
Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (really just let them keep the ‘The’ studios the title is a speed bump front to back) follows up shortly after the end of the first film. Michael Bryce — Ryan Reynolds being Ryan Reynolds — has lost his bodyguard license following the events of the first film and the titular hitman Darius Kincaid (Sam Jackson) is off doing his thing. Bryce is trying to reconcile the loss of his career and life’s passion by taking some doctor-recommended R & R in Italy. Who should stop this but Kincaid’s wife Sonia (Salma Hayek)? Kincaid’s been captured on a job gone wrong and he specifically requested Bryce… or did he?
From there, the movie goes about its quest across Europe as the trio of motley heroes get wrapped up in an Interpol plot involving Greek billionaires (Antonio Banderas), American agents (Frank Grillo), and old bodyguard clients (Richard E. Grant, back again for a single scene).
The movie is nothing too original but if you like the pieces at play you don’t need them to be transformative. Ryan Reynolds’ Michael Bryce is just Ryan Reynolds. Much like Deadpool is Ryan Reynolds with a superpower. Samuel L Jackson is Samuel L. Jackson-y, a smooth operator who says mother fucker a lot.
And last, but certainly not least — Salma Hayek gets to still be Salma Hayek, which honestly is refreshing? A 54-year-old woman gets to be a woman confident in her own skin with a romantic, sexual presence on screen. Yes, of course, it’s Salma Hayek so, of course, she gets to be that but still, it’s nice to see. It’s refreshing, given that a different set of films might have cast a ridiculously young starlet to be the hitman’s wife but anyways.
The director Patrick Hughes made his debut with 2010’s R-rated action thriller Red Hill and seemingly stayed in that lane despite a detour into PG-13 territory with 2014’s Expendables 3. The guy likes violence and language, and it shows here.
Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, like the original, exists in a world of professional assassins, bodyguards, crime lords, and more – and everyone knows everyone. Whether it’s through professional conferences and awards or in field competition, they recognize their competitors and colleagues. It’s like John Wick but for teenagers (despite that R rating). Where John Wick plays it straight and cool, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard goes for goofs – and that’s ok!
If you enjoyed the first or like mindless action flicks that go for more laughs than thrills, or just like Ryan Reynolds, you’re likely to enjoy Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. Damning with faint praise? Maybe. But let’s be honest, there’s not much competition out there in the theaters. If ya wanna see it, see it. Get back in the theater and gobble some popcorn while Samuel Jackson calls a guy a mother fucker and shoots bad guys up.
Catch Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard in theaters now!