Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson return in a brainless, foul-mouthed sequel with a sprinkling of slapstick chuckles. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard reteams the assassin odd couple with an equally raunchy conwoman in a hackneyed plot to save Europe’s technical infrastructure. The action comedy is chock full of gunplay, chases, and tussles. The problem is that the violence is too superficial and outlandish. The film embraces silliness to a fault. Resulting in the complete waste of its veteran Hollywood ensemble cast.
Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard picks up with Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) having lost his “Triple A” security rating and license. Being a bodyguard was his entire purpose for living. Lost and dejected, he sees a therapist who’s quickly annoyed with his whiny prattling. She recommends that he take a long-deserved vacation on the beautiful beaches of Capri, Italy.
Michael’s respite is ruined by a guns-blazing Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek). The newly married Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) has been kidnapped by Italian mobsters. His last words to his beloved was to get Michael Bryce for the rescue. Michael despises Darius, blames him for all of his problems, and has given up using a gun. His resolve is sorely tested as the mismatched trio gets swept up in Interpol’s investigation of the infamous Greek billionaire, Aristotle Papadopoulos (Antonio Banderas).
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard drops more F-bombs than a gangster rap album. The characters spew the expletive in every sentence. Samuel L. Jackson has made quite the career of saying “motherf***er”, but this is next level cursing. And that’s just a small sample of the multilingual swearing from Salma Hayek. Bad words have no meaning and shock value when used so flippantly. Vulgarity is not a replacement for weak dialogue. I don’t know if the actors were improvising or reciting the script, but the profanity has little comedic value.
Ryan Reynolds gets run over, tossed like a rag doll, and splattered with brains repeatedly throughout the film. Some of the gags are very funny. Reynold’s sarcastic delivery works with physical comedy. The shenanigans just lose their luster in the second act. The character’s story arc of getting back his license and self esteem becomes stale. There’s never any reason for Michael Bryce to put up with any of this nonsense; apart from being a punching bag and the brunt of all jokes.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard doesn’t mince the big-budget action. The film goes full throttle on huge action scenes. I just wish they weren’t so cartoonish. The characters are never in real trouble. And when they get injured, like being hit by a car, they spring back up and continue ass-kicking. None of the action is supposed to be taken seriously. I think the comedy element is overblown. The filmmakers needed to cut back on the farce and insert more realistic danger. The first film was much better in this regard.
Frank Grillo, Richard E. Grant, and Morgan Freeman have supporting roles. They’re initially humorous, then become bland and forgettable. This seems to be the primary fault in all aspects of the narrative. The language, action, and pratfalls are less funny as the film progresses. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a production of Millennium Media and Summit Entertainment. It will be released theatrically on June 16th by Lionsgate.
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