THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD (2017) © Jack English, Summit Entertainment and Millenium Media.

While THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD isn’t going to win any awards for originality, the charisma of its two leads is enough to carry it through

Patrick Hughes’ new film THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD hits UK cinema screens this week starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson.

THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD tells the story of Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), a once AAA rated executive protection agent, now down on his luck. When one of his clients is assassinated, Bryce is forced to become a personal bodyguard and is tasked by his former flame (Elodie Yung) to transport former assassin Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) to a courthouse to testify against dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman). With half of Eastern Europe hot on their heels, the pair must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time.

As you can guess by the description, THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD going to win any awards for originality. The film firmly sticks to the buddy cop formula of the ‘80s and ‘90s with its two bickering leads, far-fetched action sequences and foul-mouthed comedy. The dialogue is weak, the characters are second rate and the story is silly and predictable. In fact, the film is wholly dependent on the charisma of its two leads, who thankfully, manage to deliver the goods in quips, jabs and one-liners.

In terms of action however, the film delivers on its expectation and then some. The fight scenes are intricate and well-choreographed and there are a couple good car chases, including a chaotic and fun finale in which Hughes throws everything he can at it.

Samuel L. Jackson & Ryan Reynolds, THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD © Summit Entertainment/Millenium Media

Despite being pigeonholed as a foul-mouthed assassin, Samuel L. Jackson appears to enjoy himself, delivering most of the film’s comedic moments. Ryan Reynolds also manages to entertain when he can get a word in between Jackson’s non-stop one-liners. Disappointingly, Gary Oldman is underused in his role as the villain but Selma Hayek is well worth a mention as Jackson’s foul mouthed wife. While short, her scenes with her cellmate are comedy gold and the flashback sequence in which she lays waste to some thugs in a bar brawl while Jackson watches on stands out as a highlight.

As formulaic as THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD is, the film delivers on what it’s aiming for – a violent blend of action and comedy – and doesn’t take itself too seriously. While this isn’t a particularly original work of cinema, the two leads are entertaining enough to carry the weight of the film to its predictable, albeit fun ending.

3 out of 5 stars

THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD released in UK cinemas on 17 August 2017