Movies: The Hitman's Bodyguard

Not quite as clever or endearing as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but in the same vein.

Ryan Reynolds plays Michael Bryce, a hired protection . . . agent? Is that what they're called? He was once the cream of the crop, but after losing a client, he now slums it and picks up jobs where and when he can.

Samuel L. Jackson plays an assassin named Darius Kincaid whose testimony is needed in International Court trial against the tyrannical president of Belarus. But of course INTERPOL has a mole, or a leak, or whatever they're calling it nowadays. So one of the agents—Bryce's ex, in fact—calls in Bryce to get Kincaid to the Hague. Hilarity in the form of banter and action set pieces ensues.

In truth, Reynolds and Jackson play well off one another. However, the plot here is rote and everything that happens is utterly predictable. Also, the two love stories—Bryce's ex, Kincaid's equally incarcerated wife (played wonderfully by Salma Hayek)—unfortunately fail to have impact because we're simply told that these two main characters love these women and are expected to take it at face value. We don't see them interact much with their respective ladies, only hear them talk about their relationships. If there's anything I dislike in movies, it's being told: "Here. Believe this. We're not going to show you (which is the f'ing point of a movie), just tell you, but we need you to believe it because a big part of the plot hinges on it." Ugh. Fuck no. Do the work.

Still and all, the movie is overall fairly entertaining. Good soundtrack, too. If you like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang or The Nice Guys, you'd probably like this one, even though it's not Shane Black. It has a similar vibe.

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