Friday, August 25, 2017

The Hitman's Bodyguard review

I wonder how much Quentin Tarantino charges to polish a script. Because that's what is needed for The Hitman's Bodyguard. This movie about a hitman and his bodyguard could use Tarantino's talent in writing dialogue, jokes and clean up some of the illogical stuff.

The film shows us how Michael  Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), a high price bodyguard, loses a client, Kurosawa to a head shot fired through a jet plane's passenger window. Now this is supposed to be funny as Bryce is narrating how great he is. And it could be funny, if it weren't for the screams of Kurosawa's family. By the way, if this guy is named after Akira Kurosawa, then as an American I apologize to the late, great director. Anyway, this causes Bryce to spiral downwards to poverty and also loses his girlfriend, Interpol cop Roussel, (Elodie Yung.)

Flash forward. Ruthless Belarus dictator Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) has been nabbed for war crimes. We know he's bad because he personally executes a mother and her daughter. Apologies to Belarus. But hey, at least the filmmakers used a real country. The prosecutors at a The International Court of Justice in the Netherlands make a deal with Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), a hitman, incarcerated in England to testify against Dukhovich. Kincaid makes a deal if they release his murderous wife, Sonia. (Salma Hayek) Roussel escorts Kincaid. They get ambushed by hitmen and she rips off her clothes revealing that she is Wonder Woman. She then beats up all the bad guys and flies Kincaid to testify. End of the movie. Um... okay, the Wonder Woman stuff doesn't happen. They do get ambushed and Roussel rescues Kincaid but she has to call in Bryce to do the escort since this is a buddy movie.

Look this is your standard male buddy action movie. Don't let the black comedy fool you. There's not enough jokes whether they be black, funny or bad to make this stand out as a black comedy. And frankly, the women in this movie could have easily been written out. They're just here to either create sentimentality or give you a reason to tell a date, that she might like this movie.

Director Patrick Hughes' earlier works included commercials and it shows. He can't keep the camera still. There are way too many handheld camera shots and fast cutting. What this does is that it makes the action confusing. And then there are lapses of logic. Bryce gets captured and is tortured. Kincaid rescues him. But we don't know how Kincaid found him. See this is where a script doctor could have been helpful.

The Hitman's Bodyguard would have been better if it focused more on the two  leads. Add even more dialogue between Kincaid and Bryce. Who can forget the hitmen discussing how the French call a Quarter Pounder from the film Pulp Fiction?   This movie is saved only by the magnetic charm of Samuel L. Jackson.    The grade is barely a B Minus.

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