Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

 

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Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson disgrace themselves in the year’s silliest and loudest sequel.

   
Hitmans Wifes Bodyguard

Greek gift: Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek and Ryan Reynolds

 

If you love the title, you’ll love the movie. As the strapline proclaims, it’s “bigger” and “harder” than the first film, The Hitman's Bodyguard, like a slap-up feast with just the trimmings, all hot sauce and condiments and no meat and veg. Cars explode on impact, villains gurn like villains and the profanity is as thick as condensed clam chowder. According to Forbes magazine, Ryan Reynolds is the second-highest paid actor in the world, so why he should dirty his reputation with this crass, inept farce just beggars belief.

 

Formerly the world’s ‘best’ bodyguard, Michael Bryce (Reynolds) has lost his triple-A rating, is having validation issues and is undergoing counselling in London. And he has a new catchphrase: “Boring is always best.” The twist is that he has now put his past behind him and his therapist (Rebecca Front) has made his firearm averse – although he’s allowed to keep his Swiss pocket knife. And there’s the pepper spray… Then, while holidaying on the beach in Capri, he finds himself in the middle of a massacre, instigated by international conwoman Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) seeking his help. Huh? An army of assassins descends on the pair, killing everybody on the crowded beach but them, with Sonia and Michael barely escaping with their lives. Then, after Michael has helped Sonia rescue her husband, the hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), the trio are waylaid by Interpol. Their new mission is to take down a Greek billionaire egotist (Antonio Banderas), who is planning to cripple Europe’s power grid and cyber-infrastructure in return for the EU imposing sanctions on Greece. All very topical.

 

So, coincidence follows explosion follows coincidence, as Michael is repeatedly killed, but somehow bounces back to provide another quip and a wry hangdog look, before a new cycle of blood-letting kicks off. The melodramatic camera angles and constant stream of blasphemy wears pretty thin after fifteen minutes, while the naff musical cues prove merely embarrassing. There is an art to inserting the right pop standard at the right moment, and Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard doesn’t have it. Including Debussy’s ‘Clair de Lune’ really is a cliché too far. There are two or three half-decent lines (Bryce: “Can we have separate torture chambers please?”), but they are lost in the cacophony and gunfire. It’s toe-curlingly lazy, mindless garbage.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo, Caroline Goodall, Rebecca Front, Gabriella Wright, Tom Hopper, Richard E. Grant, Blake Ritson, Kate Nichols, Gary Oldman.

 

Dir Patrick Hughes, Pro Matt O'Toole, Les Weldon and Yariv Lerner, Screenplay Tom O'Connor, Brandon Murphy and Phillip Murphy, Ph Terry Stacey, Pro Des Russell De Rozario, Ed Michael J. Dutchie and Jack Hutchings, Music Atli Örvarsson, Costumes Stephanie Collie, Sound Luke Gentry.

 

Millennium Media/Nu Boyana Film Studios/Campbell Grobman Films/Film i Väst/FilmGate Films-Lionsgate.

100 mins. USA/UK. 2020. Rel: 14 June 2021. Cert. 15.