This is a movie that’s so self-aware of what it is that I’m surprised they didn’t call it “Deadpool and Elektra save Nick Fury”.
Skip the recap
Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) was a AAA Rated executive protection agent. His business was making things so safe that they were boring. One day, a distinguished client of his was killed by a sniper. After the incident, his professional and personal life went into the toilet. Micheal broke up with his girlfriend, Amelia Roussel (Elodie yung), whom he suspected of leaking his client’s name. After the incident, he now works as a second tier bodyguard for hire.
While Bryce has been floundering, Roussel has been flourishing in her career as an Interpol agent. Her current job is transporting international assassin Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) to the Netherlands. Kincaid is the star witness in an international case against tyrannical Belorussian dictator, Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman). The dictator has been on trial, but anyone opposing him has either been killed or discredited for a lack of tangible evidence. Of course, being the one man who can put a murderous dictator behind bars makes Kincaid an assassination target. Kincaid only agrees to be a witness because the authorities offer to release his wife, Sonia (Salma Hayek), who was wrongfully incarcerated in a Dutch prison as an accomplice of his.
Even though he agreed to be a witness, Kincaid is confident that he’d be safer by himself than with Interpol. His premonition is soon proven to be spot on when his caravan is attacked by a hit squad. Kincaid and Roussel manage to make it out, but they’re a little worse for wear. They also realize that this means there’s a leak inside Interpol. What they don’t realize at the time is that the leak is the 2nd in command of the team tasked with getting Kincaid to the courthouse. Knowing that she has to get someone on the outside to help her, she calls Bryce and basically blackmails him into coming to a safe house in the Netherlands to help her. She does also promise that taking this job will help him get back his AAA rating.
When Kincaid and Bryce see each other at the safe house, things do not get off to a good start. They both immediately attack each other and almost accidentally shoot Roussel before she pulls her gun on them. Bryce reveals that Kincaid has personally tried to kill him on numerous occasions. Despite their animosity, Bryce reluctantly agrees to escort Kincaid to court. What follows is a road trip filled with gunfire, car chases, explosions and general mayhem as this odd couple makes their way across the Dutch countryside. During their trip Bryce’s careful, straight laced nature constantly conflicts with Kincaid’s fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method of doing things. We also learn that Kincaid, fancies himself a good guy saying that he kills bad people while Bryce spends his time protecting them. Eventually, Kincaid reveals that the client that ruined Bryce’s life was one of those kills. Bryce believed that Roussel had leaked his client’s name but, it turns out, Kincaid just happened to spot him while coming back from another job.
After this revelation Bryce storms off, leaving Kincaid on his own. Before long though, he returns to the fray and he and Kincaid help each other make it through the remains of Dukhovich’s men. When they finally make it to the court house, Dukhovich reveals that he had never intended to let the court administer punishment to him. His men drive a truck with explosives into the building, causing a panic. Before he escapes, Dukhovich tries to kill Kincaid for betraying him, but Bryce jumps in between them, taking a bullet for his client. In return, Kincaid tracks Dukhovich too the roof of the building and kicks him off of it after shooting him in the leg.
The adventure turns out pretty well for both men. After realizing how wrong he was, Bryce has started to mend his relationship with Roussel. Kincaid has successfully secured his wife’s release and, eventually, he escapes from prison himself in order to reunite with her.
- This movie is almost all about the jokes, visual or otherwise. Two of my favorites are:
- “He has single handedly ruined the phrase ‘Mother F***ker'” – Bryce
- “I’m here to keep you out of harm’s way” – Bryce
“Mother F***ker, I am harm’s way” – Kincaid
- This movie features 3 actors who play Marvel characters in 3 different environments. Reynolds’ Deadpool lives in the Fox/Marvel universe while Elodie Yung and Samuel L. Jackson’s characters (Elektra and Nick Fury) both exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, Fury is a movie character while Elektra lives in the Netflix TV shows.
- During the flashbacks we actually get to see an action scene featuring Salma Hayek as the foul mouthed, and hyper violent barmaid, Sonia. She is one of the most delightful surprises of this entire movie. I didn’t know how much I would love her playing a bad person.
- Early on during the road trip, Kincaid starts singing a song and Bryce has a Pitch Perfect moment when he starts singing Ace of Base’s “The Sign” over the top of Kincaid’s tune.
What did I think?
There’s not really a lot to say about this movie. It’s just an ol’ fashioned, foul-mouthed, shoot ’em up fun. This is not a great movie. It’s definitely no Midnight Run. By critical standards, it’s probably not even a good movie. You’re not going to get a lot of heartfelt moments or deep character work in this movie. You probably won’t even remember the characters names by the end of it. You’ll just think of it as watching Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson play versions of the same kinds of characters that they have often played and, what the general public will assume, are likely just versions of themselves. Reynolds fires snark and quips while getting to show off his well honed action chops and Samuel L. Jackson gets to play another “Bad Mother F***ker”. The thing is, there’s nothing wrong with that.
The movie is slick and it is stylish. It’s something that’s there to be a fun ride and get a quick laugh. Outside of the, perhaps, regrettable imagery of a car full of explosives being driven into a court house, I think it succeeds at being a perfectly light hearted summer movie. I came to the theater to watch Reynolds and Jackson do what they do best, and I wasn’t disappointed. Their banter and riffing was funny and the movie didn’t do anything to get in the way of that by trying to take it self more seriously than it ought to when it came to their characters (and Salma Hayek’s). You could argue that Elodie Yung and Gary Oldman’s performances belonged in a more serious, grounded movie. I thought that having them play the movie a little more straight, contrasted brilliantly with the outlandish characters that Reynolds and Jackson were playing.
So, this isn’t a movie for critics. You might even say it’s not a movie for smart people. What it is, is a movie for anyone who wants to turn their brain off and have a good time with a movie.
The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017)
- Movie knows exactly what it is and embraces it
- Jackson and Reynolds seem to have been given full license to go at it with each other and they take full advantage
- Salma Hayeck is hilarious in her role as Jackson's foul-mouthed wife
- This is movie is the definition of