Out of the many sequels I have wanted to see over the years, the continuing story of the mildly successful THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD with the comedic and violent exploits of Ryan Reynold’s snarky humour and Samuel L. Jackson’s loud antics were not up high on my wish list. In fact, I don’t even remember much about the 2017 movie except for a lot of bickering, overbearing action and a lot of eye-rolling, cringe-worthy jokes.
So when this sequel, the oddly titled THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD (try saying that three times out loud) was announced and I began watching it, I wasn’t really sure why another movie with these bickering guys was needed as it not only feels like more of the same but even louder and more profane for no actual reason. And it’s pushed even further this time around with the inclusion of Salma Hayek doing another noise-level performance as Jackson’s estranged wife here, who partners up the team to take on a madman (Antonio Banderas) who is bent on a global terrorism plot that is too flimsy and familiar to get into detail.
Mostly the “hook” here with THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD involves the inclusion of Salma Hayek, who simply does not age. She looks great here, but her constant harping on everyone with a constant barrage of F-bombs sinks the entire experience pretty quickly. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE a good profane movie when the F-bombs and other vulgarities support the overall story and experience, but here it kept feeling that director Patrick Hughes (also the director of the first) was yelling “F-BOMB LOUDER!” There are many parts where I can tell the leads are reciting read dialogue and plot exposition rather than letting the comedy flow naturally. One minor example is Sam Jackson and Salma Hayek having loud sex with Reynolds in the trunk and the entire sequence is so profanity fueled that even someone like me who can take just about anything in movies felt that the sequence went too far.
The biggest problem here is Reynolds, who just seems to play the same kind of sarcastic performance as he did in the DEADPOOL movies and a lot of his recent pictures. Everything is a sarcastic quip, a negative contraction verbal reaction in this condescending, better-than-you attitude. It’s exhausting. FREE GUY is another movie that has been delayed for a while, and I am sure we are too see more of the exact same from him over and over again.
Even where there is some decent action (an early city chase in Italy is really well directed by Hughes) and as much as I always like to see Sam Jackson in the movies, even he really didn’t like he was having a good time. And while I know this kind of overbearing sarcasm and pointless vulgarity can work for some, the bad time vibe rather rubbed off onto me. Not even the always reliable Morgan Freeman in an extended cameo as a character I won’t reveal here, as it really is about the only surprise in this otherwise wall of noise.
THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD is exclusively playing in available theatres and will be on VOD later this summer. Thanks to VVS for sending along an advance copy for review.