‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’: Ryan Reynolds & Samuel L. Jackson’s Charisma Can’t Save Action Comedy [Review]

The Playlist | 8/17/2017 | Will Ashton
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For what it’s worth, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” might wind up being your dad’s favorite summer movie of 2017 — assuming he missed “Dunkirk,” of course. The fast-paced, liberally- violent, profanity-laced action-comedy starring charismatic A-listers Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson wields a loose, wacky late ’80s- early ’90s charm that, in the right moments, is very broad, goofy, and occasionally quite appealing. Often verging into explosive, cartoonish, but never overly gory or completely slapstick territory, and quick to shoot as many jokes as it busts out bullets, it’s easy to see why the newest film from director Patrick Hughes (“The Expendables 3“) may be catnip to an unassuming August crowd. It’s snappy and never takes its too seriously for its own good. It has a lot going for it.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing terribly interesting about “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” either. Too quick to coast by on the charm of its appealing leads, and never quite witty, clever, or punchy as you hope it’d be, this unassuming, undemanding, undistinguished late summer blockbuster is both the right and the wrong kind of mediocre action-friendly romp. It’s amusing in the right moments and it’s watchable and engaging enough that you don’t begrudge the time spent with it. But there’s not nearly enough to recommend, sadly, and it’s hard to categorize it as anything more than a passable, if mostly forgettable, future Redbox rental.

Premise - Executive - Protection - Agent - Michael

I’ll try to keep the premise fairly simple: Former triple-A rated executive protection agent Michael Bryce (Reynolds) was once a well-decorated man of class and style, but such a life of grandeur is sacrificed when a botched mission finds him struggling to retain his high-grade professional status. Among the bane of his existence are his former love, Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung), whom Michael believes is responsible for his failed mission, and...
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