Is The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard a fantastic film that was worth waiting through the pandemic for? Sort of. In spots, it’s a damn good action film that relies on its three leads to carry a film that doesn’t make a lot of sense in spots. Once you suspend your disbelief, and it’s a pretty big suspension of disbelief here, you also have to look past some lazy stereotypes.
The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas, Tom Hopper, and Frank Grillo. It’s a sequel to The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which was a pretty fun actioner that also relied on its two leads to carry the film. This sequel is directed by Patrick Hughes and written by Tom O’Connor, Brandon Murphy, and Phillip Murphy.
So the premise of the movie is that Michael Bryce (Reynolds) is retired from being a bodyguard. Darius Kincaid (Jackson) ruined his career after he couldn’t protect a high value target. He heads off to take a sabbatical from bodyguarding, shooting, and basically doing anything dangerous. That is, until Sonia Kincaid (Hayek), interrupts his peace and time away with lots of gunfire. Darius has been kidnapped, and they have to save him.
You’d Think That Would Make For A Good Plot, It Gets Bigger And More Convoluted
It turns out, that Aristotle Papadopolous (Banderas) is plotting to destroy the entire EU’s infrastructure for what they’ve done to Greece in the past. So the kidnapping plot for Kincaid is sort of a red herring, sort of a frame to get the plot going. I could have taken just a nice kidnapping plot and having Sonia and Michael try to rescue him. That would have been a safe way to do a sequel, but it gives Sonia more time to shine. They didn’t head that way, and so we get a bloated plot involving global terrorism and more bodyguards.
They rescue Darius, but then are apprehended by Bobby O’Neill (Grillo). O’Neill is the stereotypical Boston cop in the EU for Interpol. He’s hilarious in the film, and he doesn’t get enough time to shine. It would have been cool to see him tussle with our main three heroes more, but he’s in the film to give us some exposition and updates on the bad guys. It’s a shame, because Grillo is a good action actor that deserves more than what he got in this film.
The plot takes the three heroes across Europe chasing leads on Aristotle, but it leads them to Michael’s father, Senior (Freeman). It’s played off with one of the best jokes in the movie, and the whole scene is pretty gut-busting. It’s also revealed here in a tragic darkly hilarious moment why Michael is so careful in his life.
The whole plot is a necessary evil to get more scenes with Jackson, Hayek, and Reynolds. Their banter and dialogue together is hilarious and works.
Now For The Bad Of The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
There are a TON of Latino stereotypes with Salma Hayek in this film. Like over 3/4ths of the movie is just a sort of walking stereotype. It’s distracting from the film; Hayek and audiences deserve better than this. Once you get past that, it’s clear that the film is a pretty standard action film. This plot would go down in flames with almost any other people in it. It’s bloated, overblown, and it could have been much simpler. The fact that Reynolds, Jackson, and Hayek hold it up, is a testament to their abilities as actors.
Also the reveal at the end is funny, but incredibly stupid, so take that how you will.
Aristotle as a villain is also kind of meh. He’s the classic grandiose rich guy villain that you see in a lot of movies. It’s not really set apart, and his motivation besides “making Greece great again” is thin. Freeman’s turn as Senior is also kind of out of nowhere and it would have been way better suited being Magnusson (Tom Hopper) as the one that dukes it out with Michael. The Freeman angle is used for a laugh, mostly.
It’s Mostly Fun Though, So It’s Worth A Watch
Jackson and Reynolds continue their great chemistry from the first film to this one. Adding Salma Hayek’s Sonia to that formula works well, and together they hold up the film. The action scenes are magnificent and especially the last sequence on Aristotle’s yacht is a highlight. Car chases, shootouts, non-lethal takedowns, and another great “Mother-fu**er” from Samuel L. Jackson highlight the action in this film. Cartoonish, almost Looney Tunes levels, of action are on full display here.
It’s never dull, but it doesn’t ever really set itself apart from other action comedies. A plot that’s overblown and bloated brings down excellent, movie-carrying performances.
This won’t reinvent the action movie wheel. Was the film fun? Was it entertaining? Yes and yes. So that’s really all that matters with this one. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a sequel that’s not as good as its predecessor, but it still provides some fun and action.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard releases in theaters June 16th, 2021.
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