Reviews: The Hitmans Bodyguard

Far Less Than the Sum of its Parts

The Hitmans Bodyguard is an idiot plot through and through. Basically, an evil Belarusian Dictator has been taken to trial, and the only testimony that can put him away is that of a professional hitman (the movie hand-waves away the hundreds of other Belarusian witnesses attesting to his crimes, for reasons). Despite being a tinpot dictator, the Dictator apparently has enough slush funds to hire and equip an entire army of clandestine evil henchmen, and have them carry out numerous gun battles and car chases across the streets of London, Manchester and Amsterdam. The only thing that can protect the hitman is one expert bodyguard. Two would be too many.

If that's what it takes to make a dumb action comedy movie work, then that's fine I guess. The problem is that this movie just doesn't quite work. It's hard to see how it could go wrong; the thing is crammed with movies stars (Samuel L Jackson, Ryan Renolds, Gary Oldman, Salma Hayek, Richard E Grant) who spend the whole movie trying to out charisma one another. On top of that, the movie is crammed with extended action scenes. And that seems to be the problem. There is too much of everything.

The action scenes come up so often you get bored of seeing Jackson and reynolds dispose of yet another identical army of goons without consequence or plot progression. There must have been four different car chases, and a dozen enemy ambushes for the heroes to deal with. Between each of these encounters, the movie switches back to Jackson and Reynolds, who bounce off of one another with comedy bickering, or exchange emotional flashbacks. Again, its too much of a good thing; there are so many of these scenes I lost count.

The movie is just shy of two hours long; had it been at least half an hour shorter, and cut out many of the repetitive action and dialogue scenes, this would have easily been a fine way to waste an afternoon. Unfortunately all that repetition and time expiration sets in, and that idiot plot I mentioned before becomes all the more noticeable.

If you want to see Hitmen dicking around a beautiful European city, watch In Bruges instead.