‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ too tropish for own good

'The Hitman's Bodyguard'

Courtesy of Lionsgate Film
‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ was originally written as a drama. According to Vice, it underwent a dramatic rewrite two weeks prior to filming to make it a comedy.

By Grant Stoner | Staff Writer

I am not a fan of the action movie genre. For me, the drawn-out chase scenes, only-mildly-entertaining fighting sequences and weak romantic subplots all feel the same. Unfortunately, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is as standard as action movies can come, and despite the amazing rapport between Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson, the film does little to stand out from the crowd.

Michael Bryce, played by Reynolds, is employed by an international police agency to escort Darius Kincaid, played by Jackson. Kincaid is a notorious assassin whose testimony is required to imprison a ruthless dictator from Belarus. Naturally, the transport goes haywire, forcing Bryce and Kincaid across Europe, where they constantly dodge bullets as well as try to avoid killing one another.

The dynamic between Bryce and Kincaid is nothing short of spectacular. They are always trying to outdo each other, whether it be through depressing stories, or racking up a kill count. Each sarcastic quip by Bryce is met with a flurry of expletives from the hitman. I rarely found myself without a smile on my face throughout the 1 hour and 58-minute film.

Despite these humorous moments between Bryce and Kincaid, their “friendship” with one another is only supported through an egregious amount of cussing. Toward the end of the movie, I noticed that I began to groan at the utterance of every “Mother F***er!”

Samuel L Jackson likes to swear. A lot. Now, I’m no prude, but when he shouts his famous phrase EVERY time he’s on screen (which, since he’s a main character, is quite often), it can be annoying to say the least.

Even the movie becomes self-aware at one point, when Bryce questions how a single man can ruin such a common phrase.

Unfortunately for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, the dialogue alone cannot keep this film from becoming boring. The battle sequences are similarly generic, relying on the classic gaggle of guns, explosions and fisticuffs, otherwise known as the Holy Trinity of action movies. In fact, the movie even employed the trifecta of chase scene vehicles: Boat, bike and multiple cars culminate in an uninspired final act, which, yes, included multiple explosions.

Even the main villain, played by Gary Oldman, seemed dull. His motives, as well as his diabolical plans, are the hallmark for every ruthless dictator from every other film. To make matters worse, he even has a cliché Eastern European accent.

To further the terrible elements, The Hitman’s Bodyguard features an inexcusable attempt for a romantic subplot. Bryce and Kincaid were needlessly paired with romantic interests who do little to add anything significant to the entire plot of the film. While the reasons for loving one another were amusing, the film could have succeeded without their addition.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard was humorous, and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations between Bryce and Kincaid. However, action movies rely on intense sequences to support the film. Every interaction, fight or shoot-out did little to deviate from the genre, making the movie a chore to watch.

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