1 out of 5 stars
For those who remember the misadventures of bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) from 2017, this unlikely pair is back for more. These unlikely travel companions are brought back together by the terrorist actions within the European Union and tensions in the Kincaid family. Despite Bryce’s desire for a sabbatical from the bodyguard world, he is violently yanked back into reality by Kincaid’s wife and international con artist, Sonia (Salma Hayek). Her motivation is to find her husband.
After the previous debacle left Micheal Bryce shot while protecting Kincaid, he tried his best to get back on his feet as an unlicensed bodyguard. He has been getting psychological guidance and is convinced that he just needs some time off and escapes to the beaches of Europe. A plan that seems to be working until Sonia interrupts his respite along with a barrage of assassin's bullets. She is looking to get the bodyguard’s help locating her husband. The hitman was kidnapped while they were on their honeymoon. Interestingly, this unassuming couple had been hoping to have a baby.
As they try to figure out the location of the elusive hitman, they begin to see that they have been pulled into the plans of Mafia kingpin, Aristotle Papadopolous (Antonio Banderas). His goal is to destroy the EU’s national online infrastructure as a means of destabilising the economy. This seems to be going to plan, until Bryce and the Kincaids unexpectedly partner with Interpol to stop the plans of the Greek crime boss. This counterplan leads to a series of madcap escapades across Europe that include unexpected partners, family members, and many explosions.
Australian director Patrick Hughes is back to add another chapter to this outrageously quirky and violent franchise. It should be no surprise that this outing complements the witty banter with bigger, louder and bloodier accents that attempt to cover the plot holes and timeline issues. This bombastic tone comes through from beginning to end in the language, stunts and effects. This may garner appeal from The Fast & the Furious and Deadpool crowds, but might be a bit too much for mainstream audiences to handle or enjoy.
Most of the dialogue gives off an impromptu element from both lead actors that comes off natural and free-flowing, but does prove forced at times. While Salma Hayek tries her best to keep up with the comedic banter, most of her lines fail to hit the mark of the foul-mouthed hilarity of Reynolds and Jackson. While it makes sense to have Antonio Banderas added into the mix with his Euro-charm and villainous manner, it was a mistake to include Morgan Freeman in the cast. This idea may have seemed brilliant on paper, but the gag never really works and the celebrated actor looks lost or bored in each scene.
Everything from the title to the cast to the multitude of Aviation Gin references says they were trying to cram too much into one film. It was too much to ask this feeble premise to carry the weight of expectation that inevitably comes with a cast of this pedigree. Ultimately, this goes from the ridiculous to the ludacris quickly and never recovers. For the few fans of this franchise, all of these weaknesses can be overlooked, but it may be worth a miss for the rest of us.
Reel Dialogue: Justifying watching films like The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
Revenge, violence, family, parenting, sex, language... The opportunities for consideration are rife in this film.
Trying not to 'out' myself as a prude, the question that needs to be asked is, "What should we put in front of our eyes for the sake of entertainment?" This film rips open the wound that represents the desire to enjoy something that screams out for moral objection. Psalm 101:3 says, "I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar."
When filmmakers add certain components of writing or imagery for realism or for the sake of artistic license there may be an excuse on their part, but where does the accountability come down to the viewer? Should I be putting graphic violence, nudity and crude language before my eyes and into my mind? The answer seems pretty obvious, but how would you answer that question? Something to consider before seeing The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.