“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” (out now on 4K Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD) would have been a huge hit back in the “Lethal Weapon”/”Die Hard” era of misfit cops and mismatched buddies. Featuring Ryan Reynolds (sprung from movie jail by the runaway success of “Deadpool”) and Samuel L. Jackson (who’s been at this long enough that he played opposite Bruce Willis in one of those “Die Hard” movies), the movie did open #1 at the box office last summer but it wasn’t the kind of runaway hit its action and star chemistry would’ve suggested.
Reynolds is a “AAA rated” personal security bodyguard whose career collapsed after a high-profile client was assassinated on an airport runway. Jackson is an international hitman who’s the only witness who can help convict an evil president of Belarus (Gary Oldman) in a war crimes trial. Jackson agrees to testify to spring his wife and fellow hitter (Salma Hayek) from prison.
After a leak in Interpol almost gets Jackson killed, one of the international law enforcement crew (Elodie Yung) turns to Reynolds to get Jackson safely to the Hague in time to meet a trial deadline. The premise is outrageous and completely unrealistic, as is the personal history between Reynolds and Jackson. Also, Yung and Reynolds used to date and he blames her for leaking the information that got his previous client killed.
It’s not remotely possible or realistic, but neither is the impressive auto/motorcycle/speedboat chase scene through the streets and canals of Amsterdam. Reynolds and Jackson are incredibly funny together. The movie follows the formula, something that irritates the Rotten Tomatoes collective and, yet again, yields a “less than fresh” score for a film that will have a lot of appeal to people who want this kind of thing. If you like the trailer, you’ll like the movie.