Review: Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)

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Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)

Directed by: Patrick Hughes | 117 minutes | action, comedy | Actors: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas, Frank Grillo, Caroline Goodall, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Noortje Herlaar, Barry Atsma, Tine Joustra, Brian Caspe, Danko Jordanov, Stewart Alexander , Gabriella Wright, Kristofer Kamiyasu, Alice McMillan

Although the critics were not kind, the public enjoyed the humorous action film ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ (2017). It thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), who sees his status as the ‘best bodyguard in the world’ disappear like snow in the sun when an important client of his is murdered in front of him. Then he does everything in his power to be reinstated – if necessary, team up with the unpredictable hit man Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) to take out the Eastern Bloc creep played by Gary Oldman! For Dutch viewers it was a nice extra that a large part of the film was set in our country – in Amsterdam and The Hague to be precise – and that ‘our’ stars Barry Atsma, Noortje Herlaar, Tine Joustra and Abbey Hoes also were on display. ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ was entertaining, but didn’t immediately ask for a sequel. However, the makers had a good taste and started working on ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ (2021). This sequel mainly means more of the same; so a lot of action spectacle, chases and bloodshed. But there’s one big difference: Reynolds and Jackson have been joined by a Mexican fury who claims the third lead: Salma Hayek at her hottest. As Kincaid’s temperamental wife, she had already been seen in the first film for a while, but apparently that tasted like more because she claims the lead role without hesitation.

When ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ begins, Michael Bryce finds himself in a major crisis. Since the events of the first film, he has had his bodyguard papers taken away and he has intense nightmares starring Darius Kincaid. His psychiatrist (Rebecca Front) has no idea what to do with this hopeless case and sends him on vacation. But even on the sunny Italian island of Capri, he can’t escape the Kincaids; this time it is Sonia who makes it clear to him with great fanfare that she urgently needs his help. Darius has been kidnapped by mafiosi and she only trusts Bryce. But the real problem is in Greece, where a terrorist mastermind named Aristotle Papadopoulos (Antonio Banderas) is plotting to take revenge on the EU, which wants to impose more sanctions on his country (could this script have been ready for a decade…? ). He wants to attack the (digital) infrastructure of all EU countries. After Bryce and the Kincaids deal with the mafia, Interpol is already waiting for them in the person of Bobby O’Neill (Frank Grillo). He asks them to help locate Papadopoulos. But Sonia herself appears to have a bone to pick with the power-hungry Greek mastermind.

In a movie like ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ (and in its predecessor) the plot plays a minor role. It makes no sense to really want to follow the story, because it all makes no sense. It is purely a means of putting the illustrious trio of Reynolds-Jackson-Hayek to work. In fact, all three of them play a patented role that they can fill in with their eyes closed, so to speak: Reynolds is the sarcastic ‘straight guy’ who has no idea how he ended up in this situation and sighs and groans. longs for a little rest; Jackson is the endearing bad guy you’d want to have a beer with, if he weren’t so fickle and unpredictable. Hayek is the foul-mouthed vixen who first captivates you with her charm – and her imposing cleavage – but then stabs you in the back without hesitation. The chemistry between the three protagonists isn’t as strong as director Patrick Hughes might have hoped, but Reynolds, Jackson and Hayek manage to captivate the audience more than enough individually to drag us through that idiotic script. And so the trio races through Europe (this time mainly in Italy) with immeasurable speed, leaving a trail of broken bones, destruction and explosions. Along the way they also encounter Richard E. Grant (who reprises his role from the first film in a tiny cameo) and none other than Morgan Freeman, who appears to have a special bond with Bryce.

Is ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ About Anything? New. Does the film surprise us? New. Is it entertaining? Yes, that’s for sure. Not every joke is accurate, some are even downright vulgar, but at times the interaction between Reynolds, Jackson and Hayek is so infectious that you have to laugh. No cuts were made on the action spectacle, so that is also a must. But what really adds to the fun is the visible fun the three protagonists had with each other during the shooting. This is not a movie to be taken seriously, but simple popcorn entertainment that you will soon forget after the hint of a possible third movie during the credits (!).

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