There is nothing original about the concept of The Hitman’s Bodyguard, a conventional buddy film. Though the plot hinges on a flimsy point, the film is, yet, interestingly entertaining and engaging. It is a bonding tale, an action comedy between a mercenary assassin and his bodyguard.
Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), who is “good at keeping people alive”, loses a high-profile client to a mysterious sniper. Professionally disgraced, he suspects his girlfriend Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) of betraying him. Two years later, Amelia is assigned the task of transferring the notorious contract killer Darius Kincaid (Samuel L Jackson) to the International Criminal Court at Hague, in the Netherlands. Kincaid is the only living witness who can testify against President Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), the dictator of Belarus. Coincidentally, all the witnesses and evidence against him seem to disappear.
Enroute to Hague, Roussel’s team is ambushed and she reluctantly seeks Bryce’s assistance. He has a day to keep Kincaid alive and transport him to Hague. With interesting characters, organic complications, memorable set-pieces and humour, the script written by Tom O’Connor is brilliant and appealing.
The comedy with a ride on the bus with chirpy nuns, or the bottle of pee or the fart jokes is a tad forced. But what makes the writing extraordinary are the performances between the lead pair. especially when they spout, “Boring is always best”, or “Who is more evil? He who kills bad men or He who protects them?”
Samuel L Jackson as the gleefully stubborn bad-man with a tattooed pate and Ryan Reynolds as the suspicious, quick-witted bodyguard are both excellent in their respective parts. With a sense of style and attitude that resembles a bluntly ironic return to the 90s action excess, their onscreen chemistry and crackling repartee are live-wire and entertaining. Foul-mouthed and aggressive, Salma Hayek as Kincaid’s wife Sonia is over the top and amusing.
Apart from the performances, what keeps you glued to the screen is the variety of action scenes which are captured by Jules O’Loughlin’s brilliant cinematography. The background score by Atli Orvarsson is loud and over the top, but the bonus is listening to the original song Nobody gets out alive... twice sung by Samuel L Jackson.
Overall, The Hitman’s Bodyguard offers light moments worth your popcorn and ticket price.