The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard

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Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
"Reynolds has proved he's the king of dry delivery in everything from Deadpool to Pokemon Detective Pikachu but even his comedy Kevlar can't protect him from this script."

Any hitman or bodyguard can find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time - and the same goes for actors. And those sitting down to watch Patrick Hughes' sequel to 2017's The Hitman's Bodyguard may find themselves thinking, what are a bunch of nice kids like you doing in a film like this? It's dispiriting, in fact, to have to be so disparaging of a vehicle so packed with talent - running down from its stars Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L Jackson and Salma Hayek to even its bit part players, including a blink and you'll miss it moment from Richard E Grant.

All the stars are wasted here in this lacklustre spoof, although at least they seem to be having fun in the sunshine - you'll be glad someone is. Everything about this enterprise feels scrappy, including the plot, which is so weak it could do with a pacemaker. Washed up bodyguard (Michael Bryce) has sworn off bodyguarding and is taking a break in Capri - and in an indication of the weedy nature of the 'jokes', writers Tom O'Connor, Brandon Murphy and Philip Murphy enjoy their gag about it being "like the pants" so much they use it twice in case we missed it the first time.

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Bryce's attempt to "find happiness within", is cut short, however, with the arrival of Sonia Kincaid (Hayek), the ass-kicking, trash-talking wife of his former employer Darius (Jackson) and the three of them get roped in to trying to stop the megalomaniac Aristotle Papdopolous (Antonio Banderas) from destroying Europe. Subplots include stepdaddy issues (Morgan Freeman, also slumming it) and the Kincaids' attempts to have a baby.

Reynolds has proved he's the king of dry delivery in everything from Deadpool to Pokémon Detective Pikachu but even his comedy Kevlar can't protect him from this script. When one of the main protagonists says, "That is the lamest shit I've ever heard in my life" you can't help but nod in agreement. It's not just the laziness of the plot, although that feels as though it was agreed upon over a couple of gins too many on a sunny afternoon, everything feels half-baked.

The cultural references - including Lionel Richie's Hello, that Capri pants gag and a reference to Liberace (who probably hasn't had a joke made about him since 1985) - all suggest that the writers are aiming for the over-40s market. But as most of what they intend to be humour revolves around Hayek swearing colourfully with purpose, the only ones likely to find this funny are younger teenagers with a low threshold. Even the action set-pieces feel perfunctory, crying out for sight gags and a bit of flair, most of them play out like badly lit B-movie scrummages. With all this talent, you want to protect them - but it's too late, they're DOA.

Reviewed on: 18 Jun 2021
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The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard packshot
A bodyguard and two assassins team up to stop the destruction of Europe.

Director: Patrick Hughes

Writer: Tom O'Connor, Brandon Murphy, Tom O'Connor, Tom O'Connor, Phillip Murphy

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, Richard E Grant, Gary Oldman

Year: 2021

Runtime: 99 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US, UK

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