Dy­namic duo save this av­er­age flick

Dalby Herald - - LIFE -

BUDDY movies rely on screen chem­istry just as much as con­ven­tional ro­mances do.

Ryan Reynolds and Sa­muel L. Jack­son are a match made in stu­dio heaven – even when they are work­ing with sub­stan­dard ma­te­rial.

Sparks lit­er­ally fly be­tween their mis­matched char­ac­ters in The Hit­man’s Body­guard: a semi-au­to­matic bro­mance di­rected by Aus­tralia’s Pa­trick Hughes.

There’s noth­ing par­tic­u­larly orig­i­nal or sub­tle about Tom O’Con­nor’s screen­play, which made the 2011 Black List (a highly re­garded an­nual sur­vey of the best scripts yet to be pro­duced).

This is a film made for Jim Beam drinkers rather than craft beer afi­ciona­dos, although it does boast a few un­ex­pected flavour pro­files, thanks to the pep­pery, op­po­site at­trac­tion be­tween the two leads.

Reynolds has the straight-man role of Michael Bryce, a “triple A-rated ex­ec­u­tive agent” (aka body­guard) who has fallen on hard times fol­low­ing the sur­prise as­sas­si­na­tion of one of his high-pro­file clients.

Jack­son, the new as­sign­ment Bryce oh-so re­luc­tantly ac­cepts, is loosey-goosey hit­man Dar­ius Kin­caid.

Bryce is nom­i­nally the good guy in this re­la­tion­ship, but his anti-so­cial be­hav­iour and ob­ses­sive com­pul­sive ten­den­cies ren­der him some­thing of an out­sider.

Kin­caid, on the other hand, is quite com­fort­able in his vil­lain­ous skin.

He gen­uinely seems to en­joy his job – in­clud­ing car chases.

Salma Hayek has just as much fun with her against-type role as the pas­sion­ately potty-mouthed So­nia, the hit­man’s bad-arse wife.

Bryce and Kin­caid are forced to work to­gether when the body­guard’s ex-girl­friend Amelia (Elodie Yung), an In­ter­pol agent, calls in a favour.

The Hit­man’s Body­guard is a pedes­trian ac­tion com­edy with more heavy ar­tillery than it knows what to do with and the plot­ting is pre­dictable.

But with Reynolds at the wheel and Jack­son rid­ing shot­gun, it’s al­most worth go­ing along for the ride.

GOOD TEAM: Sa­muel L. Jack­son and Ryan Reynolds in a scene from the movie The Hit­man's Body­guard.

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