Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is spiraling since losing his Triple A status and is now in danger of also losing his bodyguard license all together. After his therapist tells him to take a sabbatical and just forget about all the guns and violence Sonia (the titular hitman’s wife) explodes into his life and drags him back into the fray as Darius (Samuel L. Jackson), the hitman who hilariously cost him everything good in his life, is now in danger. And who better to rescue him than his (extremely unwilling) bodyguard?
Review: I love writing movie reviews, but movie titles these days seem intent on giving me carpal tunnel, so going forward Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard will be referred to as HWB and the first film (The Hitman’s Bodyguard) will be called THB. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s discuss the sequel to the hilarious action comedy THB.
This sequel proves proves once again that Ryan Reynolds doing Ryan Reynolds combined with Sam Jackson doing Sam Mutha-Lovin’ Jackson (keep it classy folks) is a recipe for success. The first movie was a box office hit so it goes without saying we would be getting a sequel. This time the character of Sonia (played by the eternally-gorgeous, always-badass Salma Hayek) takes the lead and proves she can not only hang with the boys, she can out-shoot, out-swear and out-crazy the lot of them! The best aspect of this movie is by far the energy and off-the-cuff banter (at least it felt heavily improvised to me) by our three leads. Hayek’s character Sonia has a mouth on her that would make a sailor blush but it surprisingly never gets old. And I was so impressed by her cussing I felt like I should be taking notes.
Both Sam Jackson and Ryan Reynolds are old hands at this kind of thing and adding Morgan Freeman to anything is always a win. Here he plays Bryce’s dad who is considered the greatest bodyguard of all time, something Bryce has a hard time trying to live up to. Rounding out the considerable talent here is none other than Antonio Banderas as the main villain Aristotle. It was such a treat watching Hayek and Banderas back onscreen together. Of course both actors broke out in a big way after their pair-up in Robert Rodriguez’s Desperado back in 1995, and to say the chemistry between these two is still off the charts is an understatement.
The action in this sequel is ridiculously amped up, which is to be expected. But at the same time, you may find yourself rolling your eyes at some of the things our trio survives. Seriously, Bryce is shot, hit by a car, drugged and hit by a car a second time which leads me to believe either a teenager wrote this script or he’s Deadpool in disguise. A lot of what we see requires a huge suspension of disbelief if you really want to enjoy this movie. So for the most part I just switched my brain into “ridiculous mode” and went along with it.
Another issue I had was with the runtime, which is strange considering this movie is actually shorter than the first! So maybe the issue isn’t so much the runtime, but the way the story is paced. The middle half of this film feels very repetitive as we have our group being sent to a location only to have the crap hit the fan, then to end up stuck somewhere and then have it happen all over again. I think this occurs at least three times and it made the movie feel like it was dragging instead of sprinting towards the end.
I mentioned the humour before and, while a lot of it worked for me, there were moments that fell flat or felt like lazy rehashing of jokes from the previous film. For example, remember the scene with the nuns in the first movie? Well there’s a “call back” to that here featuring Hayek and Reynolds instead of Jackson and Reynolds. The joke works…mostly. But I still felt like it was lazy and they could’ve done something new (maybe a bunch of priests instead?)
Still, HWB, even with its rough pacing, rehashed scenes and by-the-numbers action beats is saved from being a dud due to the charismatic cast and their talented performances. Plus the final scene sets up a sequel perfectly. I wouldn’t mind a third film, as long as they shake things up a bit. And for the love of movie-god, DON’T call it The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard Son’s Grandmother’s Uncle’s Nephew‘s Cousin’s Former Roommate…
Sommer’s Score: 6.5 out of 10
So are you a fan of Hitman’s Bodyguard films? And how did HWB compare to THB? Sound off in the comments. And you can check out more great action comedy reviews below:
Action/Comedy My Spy Quick Bite
Korean Action/Comedy ‘Hitman: Agent Jun’ Delivers Laughs from Start to Finish
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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