TL;DR – More of the same, so if you know how you feel about the first film, well, not much has changed
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene and something at the end.
Disclosure – I paid to watch this film
Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard Review –
A few years ago, there was this small weird film that slipped into cinemas. The Hitman’s Bodyguard was a fairly average action film, with all the narrative beats that you would expect. However, with some good cinematography, action set pieces, and a cast that bought entirely into the premise, it turned out to be more than the sum of its parts. I wondered if they could capture that same energy twice, and the answer is both yes and no.
So to set the scene, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is no longer an AAA-rated executive protection agent, as the organisation took umbrage that he took a bullet for a known hitman. After some counselling from his therapist (Rebecca Front), he decides to instead of waiting for the review board he would take a sabbatical from bodyguarding and fly to Capri for a relaxing holiday. Which lasts about five seconds until Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) arrives guns blazing as the Mafia has captured Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), and only Michael can set him free.
The first thing I need to make clear is that this is a film that is the same as the one that came before in nearly every possible way. It has the same tone, style, progression, and even oddly the same mistakes. This makes TheHitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard one of the most straightforward films I have ever had to recommend. Because if you liked the first film, you will probably like this one, and if you didn’t, there is nothing here for you. Though much like the first film and it not quite getting the role of the ICC, this time around, we get the movie not understing the EU and that Greece is a member. A case of confusing austerity for sanctions, and there might just be a semantic difference between the two, but it is a significant semantic difference.
While there is a very straightforward narrative here, it is nice to see that the main cast is clearly having as much fun with the roles as they did in the first film. Salma Hayek especially gets to take her character from the first film and expand on it the second time around. While the narrative is straightforward, it is also very neatly arranged, with everything getting a setup and a payoff even if it is as blatant as having the three younger versions line up across from our leading trio with a clear indication that these will be the people that will be squaring off against each other in the third act.
There are also many new supporting characters this time around that mostly work within this narrative. Tom Hopper brings his complete charm as a rival AAA agent, he keeps getting these strong supporting roles, and it will be interesting to see if he can make that jump to a leading role. Morgan Freeman is well, Morgan Freeman, look, there is no role in the world he can’t make interesting. Antonio Banderas is chewing every bit of scenery he can find as the big bad, and it works. The only new character that falls flat is Frank Grillo as the completely superfluous Bobby O’Neill. Nothing about the character works, and it would have been much better for the film if they had streamlined the character away or at least gave it a reason for being there.
One of the things about this film (and its prequel) that helps elevate it is how it uses locations and stunts to bring the world to life. Finding different parts of Europe to blow up as chaos follows in their wake is always fun, and this time around, Italy (or locations standing in for Italy) on show. At the very least, it helps shift up what you usually only see in a Bond film. The practical stunts also help gloss over some of the parts that might not work as well. For example, the notable product placement of Aviation Gin, which would have been annoying if every single bottle did not me a fatal demise. There are a couple of moments where things have been assisted with digital effects. Unfortunately, these stand out like a sore thumb because it looks like they just did not have enough time to integrate them as well as they could.
In the end, do we recommend The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard? Look, as I have already said, I think you know if you will like this film or not. For me, it had its entertaining moments, but I don’t think it hit as hard as the first. If you liked The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, then I would also recommend to you Love and Monsters.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
Directed by – Patrick Hughes
Story by – Tom O’Connor
Screenplay by – Tom O’Connor, Brandon Murphy & Phillip Murphy
Based on – Characters by Tom O’Connor
Music by – Atli Örvarsson
Cinematography by – Terry Stacey
Edited by – Michael J. Dutchie & Jack Hutchings
Production/Distribution Companies – Millennium Media, Nu Boyana Film Studios, Campbell Grobman Films, Film i Väst, FilmGate Films, Lionsgate & Roadshow Films.
Starring – Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Frank Grillo, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, Richard E. Grant, Tom Hopper, Kristofer Kamiyasu, Gabriella Wright, Rebecca Front, Caroline Goodall & Alice McMillan
Rating – Australia: MA15+; Canada: 14A; Germany: na; New Zealand: na; United Kingdom: 15; United States: R