Dynamic duo save this average flick
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.