The Hitman's Bodyguard

by Michael Cox

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday November 27, 2017

The Hitman's Bodyguard

Spectacle defines "The Hitman's Bodyguard." This badass buddy comedy travels through some of the most beautiful locations in Europe - London, Amsterdam and Sofia, Bulgaria - brandishing bullets, bloodying bodies and blowing up buildings. But the actual story has been reduced to a filament for binding together a series of action sequences.

The concept of this mismatched-bromance is summed up by the title. Ryan Reynolds plays a world-class bodyguard begrudgingly assigned to protect a notorious hitman as he journeys from England to the Hague to help convict an Eastern European dictator for war crimes.

Many people have testified against Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), but no one has the hard evidence to charge him with crimes against humanity - no one, that is, but Darius Kincaid (Samuel Jackson), an assassin who will verify all the allegations against Dukhovich in order to free his disreputable wife (Salma Hayek) from prison.

Of course, the hitman and the bodyguard have been archenemies for years, so what motivates Reynolds' character, Michael Bryce, to take on this dangerous assignment? A chance to repair his shattered reputation and an opportunity to win back the affections of the Interpol agent (Élodie Yung) assigned to this case.

The original script by Tim O'Connor was on the 2011 Black List, a survey of the most popular unproduced screenplays circling Hollywood. But it went through a quick and radical re-write, converting it from a drama into a comedy, to mold it to Reynolds' skills. Jackson was brought in afterward to play a boisterous evolution of his character in "Pulp Fiction" - a fortunate inclusion since his comic timing and his chemistry with Reynolds are the only things that save a plot that plods between fight scenes and action sequences.

Director Patrick Hughes delivers a film much like his previous feature "The Expendables 3," another testosterone-driven spectacle. As in that film, the story is a means of linking action sequences, similar to the way a musical connects its production numbers.

A plethora of special features distinguishes this Blu-ray disc, including a director's commentary, outtakes, alternate and deleted scenes and four featurettes, where the actors and filmmakers talk about their experiences with the film.

"The Hitman's Bodyguard"

Blu-ray Combo Pack