On paper, ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard‘ sounds like a solid gold winner. You have Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson in a violent action-comedy with enough “motherfucks” for two films, that is directed by the guy who made ‘The Expendables 3‘ – Patrick Hughes. Those looking for a ‘Deadpool‘ style character from Reynolds will be disappointed, as he’s the straight arrow here, or as straight as Reynolds could possibly be. Samuel L. Jackson on the other hand is amped up to 11, as he plays Kinkaid, an assassin for hire who will testify in a global crime ring against a foreign mad man, played by Gary Oldman, complete with a hard Russian accent.
Kinkaid is one of the best assassins for hire, so why would he need a bodyguard in Ryan Reynolds? It’s vaguely discussed, but we get a ton of bickering between the two, which never really hits any sort of charm between the numerous car chases and gun fights. In what seems like a hardcore remake of ‘Midnight Run‘, Reynolds must escort and protect Jackson to the court hearing to testify at all costs through major cities. Along the way, we see that both Reynolds and Jackson have women who love them, the latter having a beautiful, yet dangerous Salma Hayek looking to reunite with her man.
There are some twist and turns along the way, none of which really add to the story in any real fun way. Like ‘Expendables 3‘, Hughes is all about having his actors spout out silly one-liners that get us to the next car chase or big shoot out. Patrick delivers on this every time, but it can get tedious and redundant as the same scene is basically shown throughout. Still, it’s a fun popcorn flick that will make you laugh occasionally at the vulgar dialogue and yelling between the two actors, but their chemistry just isn’t there.
Hughes takes some of the action inside a chef’s kitchen and Home Depot type of place that shakes up some of the weapons that are used, which is fun, but most of the time, it’s gun shots and car chases. There won’t be any sequels here and it’s just unfortunate that the story and characters weren’t more fleshed out, because this could have been excellent.
The Video: ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard‘ comes with a 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 2.39:1 aspect ratio. This digitally sot film looks very good, but it has some slight problems. Colors are mostly vibrant and boast great primaries in exterior shots as the car chases zoom down the busy city streets. Bright yellows, greens, blues, and browns all look excellent. There is some good reds as well with gun shot wounds that spray the gory mess around. Other times, the colors can be muted a bit in flashbacks where different filters are applied.
In a couple scenes, the lighting and focuses seemed to be a bit off as if there was a bright fantasy light shining on the whole set. People and objects just glowed white that made everything less in focus. It was weird. Details were mostly sharp and vivid that revealed wrinkles, facial pores, makeup effects, individual hairs, and sweat beads in closeups. Other wider shots weren’t soft either. Black levels are deep and inky with the skin tones coming through natural. There were no major problems with any banding or aliasing, but some video noise did pop up. Still, a good video presentation overall.
The Audio: This release comes with an energetic and fun Dolby Atmos mix that just lights up the speaker system. This is what fun action movies should always sound like. Well-balanced, loud, and robust from top to bottom. The sound effects pack good punches when the thousands of guns go off or things explode. In fact, it almost seems like it’s never ending. Either someone is shooting something, hitting someone, or something is exploding. If it’s not that, you have Samuel L. Jackson yelling “motherfucker”.
So it’s a win-win for everyone really. The overhead speakers add tons of bullets flying over head and debris from explosions in the best possible way. Other ambient noises of people screaming or other gunshots in the distance all sound full in the rear speakers. The music and song choice is a cross between hard rock and easy listening, which is odd, but fits with the wacky feel of the film in that nothing is really serious. Dialogue is clear and easy to follow along with, free of any pops, cracks, or hiss.
Audio Commentary – Director Patrick Hughes delivers a commentary track here that talks about making the film, staging the scenes, decisions he made with the characters and more. It’s rather dry, but a decent listen.
Outtakes (HD, 6 Mins.) – A montage of missed cues, flubbed lines, laughter, and more. Not exactly all that funny.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 11 Mins.) – A mix of deleted, extended, and alternate scenes. None of them are that great. Feel free to skip them.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard: A Love Story (HD, 9 Mins.) – Some decent interviews with the standard EPK material. It’s funny enough and worth watching.
Hitman vs. Bodyguard (HD. 5 Mins.) – The two main characters are focused on here.
Dangerous Women (HD, 9 Mins.) – Same as the extra above, but focusing on the two female characters of the movie.
Big Action in a Big World (HD, 8 Mins.) – This is an extra of on location sets and set design, centering on the big action sequences. Worth the watch.
THE ULTIMATE WORD
‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard‘ is a fun film, if you want blazing guns, car chases, and Samuel L. Jackson yelling “fuck” throughout the whole movie. Those looking for Ryan Reynolds to channel Deadpool here will be soured. It’s a silly, over-the-top dumb film, but sometimes, that’s just what we need. The video and audio presentations are both very good and most of the extras are worth watching. Recommended!
Written By: Bryan Kluger