Plot: Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) was an elite level operative, tasked to protect some of the most powerful clients in the world and he took pride in his status as one of the best in the business. But all of his hard work and dedication were erased when one mission fell apart, as his client was assassinated just seconds before he would have flown out of harm’s reach. Bryce blames himself to an extent, but he is sure that he covered all of the bases and as such, believes details about his assignment were leaked and that led to the kill. Now he protects sleazy lawyers and the like, but he soon gets pulled back into a high profile assignment. Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) was the trusted assassin to a powerful crime boss, but now he has turned against his old boss and plans to testify as part of the case against him. But when his transport is ambushed and most of his guards are killed, Bryce is called in to make sure he reaches the courtroom. But given the skill sets of the two men involved, this road trip won’t be filled with songs and tourist traps, but bullets and explosions.
Entertainment Value: There is a fun, over the top action movie buried somewhere in The Hitman’s Bodyguard, but it is lost under the weight of awful visual effects, a story that drags, and one of Samuel L. Jackson’s laziest performances. The movie runs almost two hours in length, but just doesn’t have the depth to fill that time, so the movie drags between action scenes. A lot of plot points are covered over and again, drilling them into our brains, which isn’t really needed, given how thin that narrative is. This is not even complex stuff by popcorn action movie standards, so it comes off as filler and dampens the pace. If this was a 90 minute, streamlined version of this same narrative, it could have been a wild, brisk movie, instead of a bloated, overproduced clunker. The action scenes are well devised in premise, but fall apart when executed, thanks to the plague of low end of CGI present. Not just laughable blood from gun shots, but huge chunks of all of the action set pieces are ridiculous, SyFy level CGI. The cast does what they can with the material, but Samuel L. Jackson phones in a flat imitation of himself here, just a real disappointment. Ryan Reynolds is pretty capable, but the movie is anchored as a buddy movie, so he can’t shoulder all the burden himself. I wanted to like this movie and there is fun potential all over this one, but the bloated run time, ineffective humor, terrible CGI, and Jackson’s phoned in effort sink The Hitman’s Bodyguard.
No nakedness. This is more of a bromance than romance, so the lack of sleaze is never a concern. The movie has a steady flow of violence and action, but falls into the old trap of rushed, low end CGI. The shootouts feature the usual video game style low res blood spurts, which never look even close to believable and in truth, are worse than no blood at all. A couple of scenes have decent bloodshed, but most are CGI clusterfucks that show little care or effort, or the visuals are blurred for some reason, likely to hide the lack of craftsmanship involved. The poor visual effects spill into the other action scenes as well, rendering chases and other set pieces into lifeless, no stakes affairs, not what you want from an action movie. The dialogue offers up slapstick banter that works at times, but Jackson’s shtick is so tired by this point, especially when he puts such little effort into his performance. You’ve seen him play this role a hundred times before, nothing new, just the same old routine. Some fun lines do come through however, so it does have those flashes of potential. No real craziness to report, just the usual action movie kind of stuff and not much else.
Overall Insanity: 0/10