Everyone's out to get them... If they don't kill each other first.
Aiming to recapture the mismatched buddy dynamic of such films as 48 Hrs. and Midnight Run, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson play chalk ’n’ cheese frenemies in freewheeling action-comedy thriller The Hitman's Bodyguard.
Reynolds is a finicky professional bodyguard and Jackson is the cucumber-cool assassin he must escort from prison to give evidence against Gary Oldman’s vicious Eastern European dictator at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. As you might expect, the tyrant and his thugs will stop at nothing to prevent the duo reaching their destination.
Strewing bullets and f-bombs around with larky abandon, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is far too scattershot to live up to its movie precursors. Fortunately, the stars’ odd-couple chemistry keeps the show on the road, with Reynolds’ prissy, seat-belt-on, safety-first attitude colliding comically with Jackson’s breezy nonchalance at every turn.
Along the way, the movie pokes fun at Jackson’s signature use of the mf-word. (‘This man singlehandedly ruined the word,’ moans Reynolds at one point). But it’s Salma Hayek, playing his character’s imprisoned wife, who proves the sweariest person on screen.
Certificate 15. Runtime 115 mins. Director Patrick Hughes
Available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from 11 December.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.