I wasn’t a big fan of 2017’s “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson do their usual schtick in what is a very poorly constructed action comedy. But audiences responded to it as late summer escapism. The film earned $75 million domestically and another $100M internationally… so why not a sequel?
Here’s why not: “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” is even more painfully unfunny and manic than the original. Sonia (Salma Hayek) shares the spotlight equally this time with bodyguard Michael (Reynolds) and hitman Darius (Jackson). It doesn’t help. Her character is just as annoying as the others.
It’s another global “on the run” adventure for the trio. Antonio Banderas emerges as villain Aristotle in a cardboard cut-out role. Richard E. Grant (who I honestly didn’t remember was in the first “Hitman” movie) shows-up in a single scene. And as the poster reveals, Morgan Freeman is in this, too. I won’t say who he plays, since it’s the film’s only legitimate “surprise”.
However, I will reveal that at one point Freeman delivers the line, “You’re a stain on my legacy.” I’m sure that’s how he, Banderas and Grant must feel having this clunker on their resumes.
There are about a half dozen other characters (too many) who are all entangled in this mess of a script which relies on audiences enjoying basic, cheap, vulgar humor. The violence is irritatingly over-the-top and staged frenetically by returning director Patrick Hughes.
Outside of his scenes with Freeman, Reynolds looks completely uninterested. For the sake of his acting legacy he needs to get back to taking-on non-snarky roles (as he did briefly, in 2015 with refreshing performances in “Woman in Gold” and “Mississippi Grind”). The popularity of his (equally annoying) Deadpool character has sent Reynolds’ career into a creative cesspool.
And, if you dig deep enough, amidst all the sludge and waste you will find “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard”.
LCJ’s “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard”’s Grade’s an F.
Running Time: 99 min.