The summer is here. The world is slowly opening and for fans of movies, this is the season for escaping into the magic of the silver screen. 2017’s “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” thrived on the comedic timing of Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds, making it a surprise success. The humor hit, the action did as well, and this new sequel essentially picks up right where that last film left off. Reynolds is still in the dumps about losing his triple-A bodyguard status, and when he attempts to take a vacation at the request of his therapist, things explode into action, chaos, and most important laughter.
Now there is no denying this movie pretty much duplicates the recipe of the first one. But surprisingly it isn’t a deal breaker because this was a surprisingly fun sequel that despite only making mild changes to the formula, was still able to provide the loud, laughable mental escape that people seek out during the summer season at the movies. Where this movie thrives is in its self-awareness. It takes itself seriously at not being too serious. So much to the point it routinely feels like it’s making fun of itself. Something that in turn naturally creates a jovial atmosphere that can lure you in.
Reynolds and Jackson are running on all comedic cylinders here. Much like the first. But Hayek is the added piece that made this movie the hilarious romp it was. Where the last film sort of stalled in the final act from a reliance on Reynolds and Jackson alone. Hayek comes in to make this sequel a trio affair to add some freshness. She goes all in on her character to expand on the personality and the simmering passion of Sonia Kincaid and she was fantastic. Her comedic timing was effortless, and her chemistry with Reynolds and Jackson provides this movie with the oddball family it needed to carry the film.
The story is admittedly generic and formulaic, but the appeal of Reynolds, Hayek, and Jackson are where this movie shines. They’re over-the-top, but mildly grounded characters that can draw you in. The writing was charismatic, and the dialogue showcases a charmingly crude sense-of-humor. This certainly isn’t something for the kids to gather around and watch. However, for adults wanting to sit back for two-hours to simply have some fun, this is a movie you can get lost in to feel just that. If you don’t take yourself too seriously. The laughs are vulgar, but never cheap or lazy. The comedic situations, scenarios, and punchlines may not exactly be highbrow humor, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still sit back and laugh your ass off as this trio bumble their way through a global crisis.
What I loved about this movie is that it put on a show. It doesn’t waste time. The laughs kick in only seconds into the story, and they don’t let up for two-hours. The banter between the trio lands a variety of comedic-bits that range from chuckles, to laugh-out-loud moments, to shock value jabs that could potentially have you spitting up your overpriced soda. Particularly from Hayek who defines the word volatile with a humorous grace. Only to be complemented by the frequently comical reactions from Reynolds and Jackson who routinely have trouble reigning in her…charisma.
Like the last flick, this sequel delivers plenty of action set-pieces that range in scale from small fights to gratuitously violent shootouts, to adrenaline-charged chase sequences. All the while never forgetting to relish in the absurdity of the moment. Banderas and Freeman come in to add to the humor in their own ways. And while not all the comedy hits, much more of it does land, than the few moments that don’t. So, if you enjoyed the first one, definitely check it out. Action comedies are not an easy recipe to pull off. But Reynolds, Hayek, and Jackson make it work. They command the screen and maintain interest where the plot itself may not be able to do so. Everything blends into a wild ride of violence and humor all set to a charming soundtrack that will rouse a chuckle here and there. If you want a fun summer escape and you don’t mind some delightfully crass themes, this is the perfect movie to get swept up in.
Anthony J. Digioia II - SilverScreen Analysis © All Rights Reserved.