Warning readers, the following contains spoilery spoilers for the movie “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”
You know when you go somewhere with ‘meh’ expectations and then those expectations are super exceeded? Like imagine if you go on one of those shitty rollercoasters for kids that doesn’t have loop-de-loops but it ends up being really awesome. That. Lets review The Hitman’s Bodyguard.
The majority of the start of this movie is based in the UK. It predictably kicks off in London (apparently the only city hollywood thinks the UK has). Deadpool, I mean Michael Bryce fails at his private security job and lets his Japanese arms dealer client get mullered. Wade, I mean Mike, can only look on with an appearance of disbelief, confusion and (i guess) lust. I’m not entirely sure why this scene was in the movie at all though. It’s referenced so much in the rest of the film you don’t really need to have watched this…but whatever. Ryan Reynolds reaction gif fodder is fine. COMMENCE TIME TRAVEL TWO YEARS INTO THE FUTURE *TIME TRAVEL NOISES AND MORTTYYYYY*
Security bro is now driving a beaten-down piece of shit, saving drug addicts from private militia and not getting along with his girlfriend. Meanwhile, theres a really upset guy in the Hague. He’s trying to put evil Commissioner Gordon, I mean ‘President Vladislav Dukhovich of Belarus’ (thanks google) in prison for murdering his family in front of him. Flashback to Vlad mercilessly killing a kid. Wasn’t this a comedy I signed up for? Sheesh.
Apparently SAM MOFOCKIN JACKSON is the only guy in the world with legitimate evidence against big bad Vlad. This is somehow despite the fact he’s murdered thousands and they’ve had dozens of unconnected witnesses testify against him. Sam Jackson is also a contract killer… because why the bastarding not. Cool tattoo, Sam L, that might be a plot device later. Sudden UK trotting custody van from Manchester to… wait what did they say there? WHAT! Sam Jackson’s having a gunfight in fucking Coventry?! With Elecktra from Daredevil?! WHAT?! I LIVE NEAR COVENTRY!! THIS LOOKS NOTHING LIKE COVENTRY!!! I like how they glossed over the fact that Manchester to Coventry would take them about 3 hours in the van but the guys transporting Sam Jackson are still massively on edge when they get there. It like they’ve spent the last 3 hours just shitting themselves every time someone overtook them on the motorway.
Quick note that Sam Jackson is pretty fucking spry and skipper for a 68 year old man.
Anyway, Elektra calls Deadpool to help out now-wounded Nick Fury. Deadpool and Nick Fury hate each other and Deadpool ends up taking over protection detail anyway. Oh yeh and Interpol has a mole. Intermole. Ryan Reynolds and Sam Jackson are just a goddamn joy to watch on screen together. Every tiny little thing they do has this stylish fun to it which makes it very very easy to watch. Plus, watching two A-List hollywood actors being chased around night-time Warwickshire lanes by Belarus mobsters might be the best thing I’ve ever seen. Maybe I can make them a cuppa next time they drive past my house…
Their car blows up and they end up in a field talking about feelings. Impressive flashback to Darius Kincaid (Sam J’s character) meeting his wife. The flashback’s a fun scene with a great soundtrack and lots of gore and ass. Yes… ass gore, we’re hitting new heights here. Hold the phone, is that a van full of nuns that picked up our two lost Americans? Fucking NUNS? Also “WERE TRYING TO GET TO AMSTERDAM” says Kincaid, whilst the pair are stranded in, what I assume, is Somerset. “SURE WE CAN GET YOU THERE” says the priest before apparently driving complete strangers 5-6 hours to the opposite side of the country. WHAT IS THIS?! Christian charity gone mad. Sam Jacksons dance number with the disco nuns makes everything forgiven though I guess.
Kincaid mentions his first kill was revenge against the murderer of a preacher when he was a tween. More important plot devices. They gloss over transportation through France to the Netherlands like the characters just took a piss and wound up where they needed to be. Kincaid delivers some flowers to his murderess wife in an Amsterdamian (Amsterdonium? Amsterdaman?) jail. TO THE HAGUE, shouts the audience and off they go. Gunfights, car chases, Ryan Reynolds being thrown through a windshield at literal neck breaking speeds. Sam Jackson was the one who killed the Japanese guy at the start (the opening is referenced so much its almost annoying). More feelings. More gunfights and feelings. Then the ending.
Apparently Kincaid was offered a job by Belarus President man to assassinate some civilians. Instead, Kincaid figured he just wanted to stick around taking high res photos of the baddie being a total cunt for a while. “Yeh, Vlad, just turna little so I can get you pointing a gun at that innocent guy… ok cool got it. Say cheese!” Useful to have those pictures, though, Samuel L. Glad the Belarus mob didn’t mind you carrying around a gigantic DSLR with you when they took you on their murder sprees. Oh yeh and the preacher who Kincaid avenged turned out to be his dad. The tattoo he has is of the birds that flew away when he murdered his dads killer. Thanks for the sudden realism sadness, comedy film.
Vlad tries to blow up the Hague to escape, doesn’t escape because he’s actually kind of shit. Kincaid kicks him off a roof, banter a bit with Deadpool and the end. I know there was a bit with music and dancing and shit after, but it doesn’t really matter.
Right. The last time I left the cinema going “Well, well well! That was a LOT better than I thought it would be!” was probably when Kingsman first came out. I personally judge a movie based on whether I would give a bollock about watching it ever again. To do that the movie needs bits I remember enjoying. Kingsman had a bunch. “Well, there was the bit in the church where Colin Firth murders a bunch of racist nobgobblers. There’s the bit at the end with all the peoples heads popping in a cartoony way”, etc etc. I need the memorable shit to sit there in front of my blu-ray collection and go “Yeh lets whirl this bitch up.”
Coincidentally, Samuel L Jackson was in Kingsmen as well as The Hitman’s Bodyguard, so maybe he just makes every movie he’s in fucking awesome by default.
So what about this one? I’m happy to say that this movie had more than enough memorable things that I wouldn’t hesitate to watch it again. Im-a whirl this bitch up when it comes out on blu-ray… you watch me whirl it. This movie was fun. Very fun actually. The comedy was good enough to make the peeps in the cinema, including me, laugh. There was a fucking fart joke and it was good enough to make us laugh. I LAUGHED AT A GOOD FART JOKE, welcome to 2017.
The action was slick enough to feel both systematically badass but also kind of realistic. It was gory enough to feel gritty but not violent enough to feel like it was mindlessly throwing bloodied organs at the audience. Also the comedy blended itself well to some of the more violent scenes. Theres a bit where Reynolds character is about to get tortured by a BDSM Amsterdam red light district guy (oh I did’t mention that?). The reaction to the situation is hilarious but the torture turns out to be really really dark to watch. They balance it well, so props there.
The characters were interesting for what the movie was… except that maybe Ryan Reynolds was just playing Wade Wilson again. I think he’s been playing Wade Wilson since before he actually played Wade Wilson though, so he gets a pass there. They put effort into characters that didn’t really have much actual play in this as well, like one of the guys transporting Samuel L who dies about 10 minutes after being introduced. It was a nice thing to see human beings with personalities instead of just redshirts with neon targets glued to their faces.
Better than expected. I’d be game for a sequel if they make one. 8/10.