As a big Samuel L. Jackson fan and someone who admits that Ryan Reynolds is beginning to grow on me following his agressively charismatic performance in Deadpool. the trailer for The Hitman’s Bodyguard was eye catching. This coupled with the fact that I’m also a sucker for a decent action comedy that looks like it can provide some laughs and neat action sequences, I was enthusiastic that the film might deliver. Sadly, this movie was heavily advertised as a comedy and was instead a bland and below average action movie with the few jokes from the trailer being the only humor in the whole movie.
The story follows Reynolds character that used to be a highly respected bodyguard for some of the most powerful and sometimes evil people around. After he loses a very important client on his watch, he is forced to start from the bottom to earn back his title and reputation. Along the way he crosses paths with a former adversary, Jackson, who has almost killed him on numerous occasions. Reynolds is tasked with getting Jackson to a very important testimony that could help stop a genocidal maniac (played by Gary Oldman) from literally getting away with murder.
The most disappointing part of this movie was the wasted talent of the cast. When a movie includes actors like Jackson, Reynolds, Oldman, Salma Hayek, and Elodie Yung (Electra from Netflix’s Daredevil) an audience member would expect some pretty solid performances. All five of these performers have demonstrated their talents numerous times in action, comedy and drama. Seeing a movie that is bland and boring is almost more painful than watching a truly bad movie.
Would this movie have been slightly better if the marketing was more accurate to what the tone of the movie was? The Hitman’s Bodyguard isn’t bad, it’s just been done before and done better. If it was advertised as just an action movie and they cleaned up the special effects a bit, this could have been a pretty decent movie. (despite some goofy looking special effects and stunt work.) The fact Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3) directed the film made everything all of a sudden make sense in terms of the familiarity.
This movie had quite a rough journey from page to screen. The original script was conceived in the early 2010’s and was put on the Black List of unproduced scripts. When Reynolds and Jackson were signed onto the project years later (and two different directors later) the film went from an action drama to a comedy in weeks of rewrites. This chaos showed more than it should have in the final product.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is not the summer action comedy that we all wanted, but it also isn’t the worst movie of 2017. If the writers would have picked a genre and stuck with it this movie would have been noticeably better. From what it sounded like this movie was doomed from the very beginning.