In Patrick Hughes’ The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Samuel L. Jackson plays a ruthless hitman and Ryan Reynold plays a reluctant bodyguard. While Reynolds has charm, Jackson steals the show. The odd couple is in a no way a team, but since Reynolds’ character must protect Jackson in order to get back on track with his dwindling career, he has to keep him alive under the order of his former love interest and Interpol agent, Amelia Ryder. The nemesis of the film is none other than Gary Oldman, a role audiences have seen him in before.

When Michael Bryce (Reynolds) — a self-appointed “Triple-A rated executive protection agent,” loses a client — his career plummets as does his relationship with Amelia (Elodie Yung). Bryce is desperate to get back on track so he accepts the mission to protect Darius Kincaid (Jackson) until he can testify against a corrupt genocidal leader played by Oldman. Kincaid is eager to cooperate with authorities in order to get his wife, a feisty Ecuadorian (Salma Hayek) out of jail. Hayek doesn’t do much but sit in a cell and spout angry obscenities to people, but it’s entertaining to see her in such a role.

Jackson channels some of that Pulp Fiction energy that made the world fall in love with every F-bomb he drops, and there are a lot! The film falls somewhere between an action and a comedy, but it seems the writer did not know which until it was shot.  Together, director Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3) and writer Tom O’Connor do their best to bring this niche genre alive. While there is some humorous banter between the two charismatic stars, Jackson’s sociopathic character leads the struggling Reynolds. If it hadn’t been for the big names, the film would have likely gone straight to DVD.

The best thing the film has going for it are the high-speed vehicular stunts. Comparable to Midnight Run and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the film is sure to please late-summer audiences. While there is nothing particularly remarkable about The Hitman’s Bodyguard, there are some epic action sequences and moments that are sure to make the film’s target demographic gasp and laugh, but not too much of either. All in all, the movie falls a little flat and is just okay.

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