What Went Wrong With… Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)?

A review of Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard by What Went Wrong Or Right With...?

I’ll confess I don’t remember much about The Hitman’s Bodyguard, other than hating it. Given that it contained at least two talented actors (Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman) I expected it to make some kind of impression but it didn’t. I guess Jackson and Oldman, who both appeared in the abysmal remake of Robocop aren’t averse to making crap, so their one-time pedigree isn’t something that holds weight, at least not this century. I also recall the film’s main star Ryan Reynolds playing, err… Ryan Reynolds (as he usually does) doing his habitual, effeminate, over-enunciating voice like a bootleg Jim Carey, and Salma Hayek, another talent, was relegated to supporting-supporting-supporting actor. Whatever it’s problems and however little my recollection, I can’t believe that the original film was so successful that it warranted a sequel, but it inexplicably has, and it’s cleverly (not) titled Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. Set four years after the events of the original flick, bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds) is now on sabbatical when Sonia Kincaid (Hayek) the wife of hitman Darius Kincaid (Jackson) recruits him. Due to his sabbatical, Bryce is not allowed to use any kind of lethal weapon other than his Swiss Army Knife which is a bit of a gimmick to set the sequel apart. This set-up could have been humourous, even slightly, but it’s not. I laughed once during the entire film and the audience I was with only lightly giggled here and there. If you’re a fan (and judging by the fact that this crapfest exists, there must be at least one) this may please you but for most, this is a terrible movie. This isn’t a terrible sequel, which most sequels are, it’s just a terrible film; both as a stand-alone or as a follow-up. But, given that the first one was garbage, what else would you expect?

The problems with Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard are vast. Firstly, the story is all over the place. Written by Tom O’Connor, Brandon Murphy, and Phillip Murphy, it seems like this trio cooked-up their piss-poor script whilst drunk, watching the news at the heights of Brexit and Scottish Independence and then sat on their screenplay for a few years until it became irrelevant. The nonsensical plot involves Greece being sanctioned by the E.U., leaving the country in financial ruin, after which some rich megalomaniacal Greek bloke named “Aristotle Papadopolous” (I bet they were up all night thinking of that hackneyed, stereotypical name) retaliates by building a massive drill in order to break into a “data junction” so to install a virus that will destroy Europe (makes perfect sense). Somehow, Michael, Sonia, and Darius get embroiled in this illogical narrative, and the chaotic way in which this daft plot is edited and presented, we have the three main characters hopping from place to place every few minutes, fannying around Europe like the bloody thing’s sponsored by Tui.

Constantly changing location doesn’t make this a Mission Impossible-type flick and mentioning Overboard by name doesn’t mean it’s as funny (it’s closer to the horrid remake). This movie also ends with Samuel L. Jackson jumping off an exploding sea vessel, but the action is nowhere near Die Hard With A Vengeance. I guess whenever you’re in a film alongside Tom “SAS: Red Notice” Hopper, you can be sure you’re taking part in badly-composed shite.

Weaving together multiple forgettable plots with character names you can’t remember from one scene to the next, not to mention ex-credible actors phoning-in their performance (Antonio Banderas doesn’t even attempt a Greek accent) this film is atrocious in every way. The CGI is cheap, the stunt doubles are obvious, and that scatty plot about maintaining a Triple-A or AAA rating at body-guarding, regaining one’s bodyguard licence, mushed together with a diamond-tipped drill, gunfire, explosions, torture, and fertility is to put it lightly: a frigging shambles. With Bryce leaving phone messages to his future self, plus that aforementioned data junction, all I could think about was Marcus Brigstocke and his “My Data Self” advert.

With a title containing two possessives and posters sporting taglines such as “Killer Threesome” and “Bigger. Harder. Less Protection.” it’s like the marketing department is filled with either giggling tweenagers or middle-aged men. This has to do with the subplot about the Kincaids trying to conceive, but c’mon, the two “Hitman’s” movies aren’t exactly Carry On; they’re not known for sexual humour at all, so why go this advertising route? That being said, like Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool before it, it seems that the marketers’ gags are better than those in the film, which range from an Interpol agent thinking a Scottish name sounds like a rude word to Sonia rambling about her tight vagina. There’s also an extremely stale joke about having a father of a differing race, a gag older than Morgan Freeman himself.

Speaking of old, there’s also some casual sexism and ageism here and there with Salma’s character being mocked for her age twice, once being called an “old cow” when she’s the least-worn looking person in the entire cast. All the males who surround her, from Reynolds (who is younger) to Jackson and Banderas (who are older) look wrinklier and more haggard than Hayek but god forbid we mention the age of these sagging pricks.

Despite having bullets, blood, brains, and beavers flying about, the overall comedic tone of Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard feels more like a kid’s movie, and a crap one at that. Casual stereotyping and slapstick seems to be this film’s theme. When comedy actors like Ryan Reynods and Rebecca Front can’t coax out a laugh, you know the screenplay is banal. Like I said, I laughed once (at tranquilliser darts hitting Michael in the face and then him falling onto Sonia’s arse). Everything else was comedic-ally flat, and it’s not like the action compensated for the lack of laughs. Directed by Patrick Hughes (who’s responsible for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Expendables 3, and the upcoming “please fucking don’t” remake of The Raid: Redemption) his messy framing and missing of any potential thrills just added to all the issues. Like the original movie, this sequel is not noteworthy in any way. To describe it in the style of this film’s title, the…

First Film’s Sequel’s Shite.

Writing: 2/10

Directing: 1/10

Acting: 4/10

Overall: 2/10

2 replies »

  1. Completely agree

    Capri = not funny
    Lithium = not funny (is that even a side effect?)
    Stepdad = not funny
    Adoption = not funny

    Anyone else getting Ryan Reynolds fatigue?

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