Watching Patrick Hughes’ “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” brings to mind two possible reactions. One, a rather ordinary story of semi-good and purposeful bad chasing a really awful power-mad villain who is slaughtering what’s left of decency in our world. A second way is, simply put, YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH !!!!!!
Rip roaring, shoot ‘em up, blow ‘em to smithereens, and, naturally, rid us of the bad guy before the world (or at least our part of it) comes to an end. In his updated version of a “B” Western, Hughes has managed to bring elements of bar fights, shootouts, and a very un-Damsel in not much-distress (Selma Hayek) who plays Samuel L. Jackson’s imprisoned wife for whom he bargains her release so he can testify against a monstrous Gary Oldman at the International Court in Amsterdam. Folks, it’s nonetheless apparent from her first scene that our not so distressed Damsel can whup ‘em up too.
Threading the film together is a lot of fun between Jackson and Ryan Reynolds, who plays a security agent who can’t keep anyone safe, but somehow seems to avoid getting hurt most of the time. Jackson, as ever, steals the show, and even goes so far in one fight sequence to twist his machine gun in a homage to a scene from “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” during ITS climactic battle scene.
The best portions of the film are, as intended, the verbal fighting between Jackson and Reynolds, whose mutual backstory, however violent, only adds to the hilarious use of Lionel Richie music (“Hello” and “Dancing in the Moonlight” are two favorites from my time at a 24 hour Nashville restaurant, oh, maybe a few years ago) as various sequences of mayhem and madness play themselves out. In the spirit of “48 Hours” and other such films, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is finally a great deal of fun. It’s also strictly for adults as the spew of linguistic vile is enough to bring about blushing from sailors on shore leave. With that criticism and precaution, it’s worth the watching…and laughing.