Movie Reviews

Published on August 17th, 2017 | by gareth


The Hitman’s Bodyguard

For professional Bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), life is good. As an elite member of his craft, he is well paid and lives a very good life keeping high-profile targets safe the world over. When things unexpectedly take a turn we find Michael two years on having hit the skids and struggling to claw his way back to prominence in the new film “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”.

Things become complicated for Michael as a despotic tyrant named Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) is on trial for war crimes and countless atrocities, and is about to go free due to removing all those who would be able to testify against him with credible evidence. That is with the exception of one Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson). Darius is incarcerated but makes a deal to testify in exchange for his wife (Selma Hayek), being granted freedom. Darius knows he is a marked man but takes the chance and under the watch of Interpol Agent Roussel (Elodie Yung), they set off.

Naturally things do not go as planned and the two find themselves fleeing for their lives with numerous deadly assassins hot on their heels. Unsure who she can trust, Roussel calls in Michael even though they have some seriously unresolved issues about one another that destroyed their previous relationship. Further complicating matters is the history Michael and Darius share which makes them naturally hostile to one another.

Nevertheless, Michael and Darius set off to reach the courtroom but the imposed deadline and face numerous dangers and hilarious situations along the way.

Jackson and Reynolds work very well with one another and their banter and chiding comes across as very natural. The jokes come more often than I expected but the film is very much an action film, and the sequences are intense, funny, and gripping, especially and extended chase and fight sequence along the canals and shopping district of Amsterdam.

While some may say that the film is just a variation on the Buddy Cop genre of old, the strong cast and the winning mix of jokes and action make the film a very pleasant surprise and one of my more enjoyable films of 2017. It was a highly-enjoyable thrill ride and one of the best films this summer.

If you are a fan of action, comedies, and the pairing of Jackson and Reynolds, do not miss this film.

4 stars out of 5.


Second review by Joshua Aja


Notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L Jackson) has made a deal with Interpol to testify at the International Court of Justice, in return for setting his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) free from prison. The man he is testifying against, former Eastern European Dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), has no intentions of letting Kincaid get anywhere near the trial. As Interpol agents, led by Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung), are transporting Kincaid from London to the Hauge they are ambushed by Dukhovich’s men. Only Kincaid and Roussel survive and make it to a safe house. Roussel knows there must be a leak in Interpol and must resort to calling her ex-boyfriend, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), to help get Kincaid to trial. Bryce is a former elite level bodyguard who let a high value client get assassinated and now on hard times. When Bryce shows up to the safe house to find that it’s Kincaid, a man who has tried to kill him or his former clients several times, he goes to leave. But reluctantly and solely to regain his status, he agrees to take Kincaid to trial. Now the bodyguard must protect the hitman so he can put away the former dictator for war crimes.

This is a really fun buddy comedy/action. Jackson and Reynolds have really great onscreen chemistry. I think Salma Hayek was a really fun surprise in her supporting role. Also Oldman is a good as the villain. The interactions between Hayek and Jackson are unique and really add something different to the film. The action scenes were well done and of a high quality. There a really cool one shot hand-to-hand combat shots, explosions, car chases and everything else you could ask for from an action movie. There are also some really funny one liners. Overall there are fun and memorable moments. But story is a bit over the top and has some moments that make you ask the question what is going on or how is that even possible. At one point Bryce and Kincaid go to a safe house and into a hidden room full of weapons, gadgets, vehicles, etc. but the problem is one entire wall is all windows. Also the comedy between Jackson and Reynolds is mostly good by at times is also little over the top and cheesy, not necessarily in a bad way, but could be too much for some. They also try to tackle some heavy story lines and it can feel forced at times in an otherwise lite and fun movie.

I walked away from the film really enjoying the performances of the cast and the memorable moments of the film. But the story as a whole lacking but maybe what you expect from this genre of movie. With that said I have to say this movie hits all of the buddy comedy/action notes in a really fun way. Reynolds and Jackson are not afraid to take shots at their on screen personas and it really makes for an enjoyable watch. It might take the viewer being in the mood for this type of movie but if you are this is one that is definitely worth the watch, for Hayek’s performance alone it’s worth it.

3 out of 5




About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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