The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (15) |Close-Up Film Review

Dir. Patrick Hughes , US/UK, 2021, 100 mins

Cast:  Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayack

Review by Carol Allen

As the title indicates this is a sequel to the 2017 comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which starred Samuel L. Jackson as the former and Ryan Reynolds as the latter.   And as the new title tells you, Darius (Jackson) is now married – to sharp shooting, motor mouthed con artist Sonia (Salma Hayek).  We don’t see much evidence of her con work but plenty of her other talents.

At the opening of the film Bryce (Reynolds) is in therapy, mourning the loss of his top bodyguard status.  Sent by his therapist (Rebecca Front) to find his true self on a peaceful vacation in Italy, he finds himself drawn back by Sonia into the violent world that she and her husband share – along with a deep and frequently demonstrated lust for each other and an unlikely desire to become parents.  Wow.

In the course of their adventures poor Bryce is the real fall guy.  “I wanted him to be hit by a car, run over by a boat, punched in the face, shot, stabbed, burnt, and drowned”, says the film’s director Patrick Hughes.   Well he certainly succeeds in that.  Apart from that opening scene, the film is an almost continuous stream of violent action – shootings, drownings, explosions, car chases and crashes – with most of them involving injury to poor old Bryce.  He deserves an injury bonus.

And the plot?  Bit tricky to untangle that one as a lot of the dialogue, though shouted, is drowned out by the action.  It involves a cop from Boston (Frank Grillo – accent incomprehensible) under the command of a British ‘tec (Caroline Goodall – involvement not clear), who “persuade” our central trio to help them nail a villainous and filthy rich Greek tycoon (Antonio Banderas – blonde pompadour and orange tan), who is seeking revenge on the world for destroying Greece’s economy.  His dastardly plan seems to involve releasing a deadly virus over Europe –  that went well.  Is this perhaps his somewhat extreme way of demanding Greexit?  

Another star on hand is Morgan Freeman, whose entrance raises the best laugh in the film from the expression on Darius’s face when Bryce introduces Freeman as – well, you’ll have to see the film if you want to find out. 

This must have been a very expensive movie to make.  Stars of this stature don’t come cheap, neither does an explosion or other flashy special effect in every other scene. 

The handsome locations competing with those effects for screen time are lovely.  And there is the sometimes entertaining chemistry between Jackson and Reynolds.  

But it’s all ever so noisy and unless you find destruction and injury fun, not very amusing.  It’s “full of sound and fury signifying” – well, not very much

In cinemas from June 18th