I pretty much hated The Hitman’s Bodyguard, the mostly annoying odd-couple action-comedy starring Ryan Reynolds as overly self-serious bodyguard Michael Bryce and Samuel L. Jackson as Darius Kincaid, the most dangerous assassin in the world and Bryce’s new client. Nick Rogers’s excellent review of this sequel, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, did nothing to entice me to see the sequel. Then Lionsgate sent me the review copy of the Blu-ray. I watched it out of curiosity.
Turns out Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is this year’s best R-rated action-comedy (move over, The Suicide Squad). It’s an oddly earnest barrage of Oscar-nominated performers delivering utterly foul laugh-lines with a smattering of ultra-violence. Most importantly, it never overstays its welcome.
Selma Hayek stars as Sonia, the titular wife introduced in the first movie. Sonia is more violent and unhinged than Darius. All she wants is to go on their honeymoon and conceive a child. After Darius is kidnapped, Sonia recruits Bryce to help save him. Unfortunately for Bryce, Sonia appears right as he goes on a vacation to alleviate his PTSD from his last adventure with the Kincaids. He’s sworn off violence. No more bloodshed. But that’s not the way the Kincaids do business.
It’s a good set-up for Reynolds to play the more sympathetic character of the wisecracking trio, which basically means being abused and thrown around like a rag doll by Hayek and Jackson. I’m not a big fan of Reynolds, but he’s very funny here. His usual level of snark-to-hide-a-sad-soul works when the two characters beating up on him are so damn funny — particularly Hayek, whose Sonia treats Bryce like a child.
Really, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is in Hayek’s hands. There is a stretch of the movie that brings everything around to Jackson and Reynolds again, and while they’re a fun duo, Hayek has all the best lines and her presence is missed when she’s not around. There’s something about Sonia describing her and Darius’s failure to conceive as his “weak sperm aborting the mission halfway up (her) pussy pipe” that cracks me up just thinking about it.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually want a sequel to these characters – as long as it’s also centered around an actor given carte blanche to be as vulgar and juvenile as Hayek is here.
Special features include some short promo documentaries and a gag reel.