Bullets fly and jokes do too in this tough-talking old-school action comedy
A randy, tough talking, rock-and-roll shoot-em-up, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is the kind of action comedy Hollywood used to regularly pump out, but rarely makes anymore.
It’s an abrasive-but-fun-but-tiring bang-bang thrill ride that comes packing quips and explosions in equal measure. It relies on the chemistry (or anti-chemistry, if you will) of stars Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, who thankfully know their way around a delicious line delivery.
Together, Reynolds and Jackson give “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” just enough rock ’em sock ’em punch to make it work. But you still might need an ice pack on your head by the time the credits roll.
Reynolds, in full uptight sarcastic mode, plays Michael Bryce, a protection agent who brags about his Triple-A rating like that guy in the bar who won’t shut up about the touchdown he scored in the big game in high school. Jackson, in full expletive-laden motormouth mode, is deadly assassin Darius Kincaid, who has 250 kills to his credit.
They reluctantly team up when Bryce is tasked with delivering Kincaid to international court in Amsterdam to testify against a vicious warlord (Gary Oldman). Seemingly hundreds of bad guys are dispensed of along the way.
Director Patrick Hughes (“The Expendables 3”) layers the film with wall-to-wall action and old-school macho bravado. But writer Tom O’Connor’s script has an unexpected romantic undercurrent, as both Bryce and Kincaid are trying to make things right with the women in their lives (Élodie Yung and a terrifically foulmouthed Salma Hayek, respectively).
“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” comes at you hard, but skates by on its charms. Kiss kiss, bang bang.
‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout
Running time: 118 minutes