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Film / The Hitman's Bodyguard

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Everyone's out to get them... If they don't kill each other first.

The Hitman's Bodyguard is a 2017 action-comedy directed by Patrick Hughes and starring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Élodie Yung, Salma Hayek, and Gary Oldman.

Michael Bryce (Reynolds), formerly one of the world's premiere bodyguards, is tasked with protecting Darius Kincaid (Jackson), one of the world's most notorious hitmen, and escorting him to the International Court of Justice so that Kincaid can testify against Vladislav Dukhovich (Oldman), a ruthless dictator who is being charged with crimes against humanity.

Unfortunately for Bryce, Dukhovich has hired a large number of men to prevent Kincaid from reaching the Hague and the police have been compromised, meaning that he and Kincaid can only rely on each other to survive. Complicating matters even further is the fact that Bryce and Kincaid despise each other and, if circumstances were different, wouldn't mind seeing the other die, preferably at their own hands.


A sequel titled The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard is due to release on June 16, 2021 (having been delayed significantly due to the COVID-19 Pandemic).

This film provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Implied. During Kincaid's testimony, he mentions the reason behind the change of his last name from "Evans" to "Kincaid" was to keep his "stepfather's belt away from [him] a little more".
  • Action Girl: Downplayed. They aren't shown as prominently as Kincaid or Bryce, but both Sonia and Amelia can kick butt.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Kincaid has a tendency to start laughing about damn near everything that nobody else finds even remotely funny, much to the frequent irritation and exasperation of whoever witnesses it (usually Bryce). Played for Laughs, of course.
  • Addled Addict: Mr. Seifert, one of Bryce's "fall from grace" clients at the beginning of the movie. Bryce finds him talking to himself under his fancy office desk, surrounded by paperwork, destroyed furniture, sweet wrappers and various narcotics.
    Michael Bryce: Is it too much cocaine or not enough?
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  • Affably Evil: Kincaid may be a world famous Professional Killer, but he's quite friendly (when not being a smartass), has a deep love for love itself, and is deeply devoted to his wife.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: An explosive convoy ambush which results in a massive bloody shootout between heavily armed Interpol operatives and Belorussian mercenaries takes place in... Coventry.
  • The Alleged Car: The movie takes great pleasure in heaping scorn on the Ford Focus C-Max Bryce keeps choosing over much cooler cars like a Jaguar XF. Then the frantic chase through The Hague happens and the movie makes a 180 by letting that humble C-Max survive an incredible amount of abuse from stuff it was never meant to endure. By the end it's completely wrecked but still serviceable enough to get the protagonists to their final destination. D'awww...
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: As the protesters realize that the man who fell to his death from the courthouse roof was Dukovitch, they can be heard cheering just as the camera cuts back to Kincaid.
  • And This Is for...: “You fucked up when you shot my bodyguard.”
  • Animal Motifs: Sonia compares her husband to a cockroach as no matter how hard you try to kill either one, they somehow manage to survive. She even uses it as an Affectionate Nickname towards him, and the name of the bar where they met is Spanish for "The Cockroach".
  • Anti-Hero:
    • Kincaid deliberately targets bad guys, and sees himself as a good guy because of this.
    • Bryce may be a bodyguard, but he only does it to make a lot of money, and is arguably less scrupulous than Kincaid as some of his clients have been very bad people.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • When Kincaid and Bryce get into a moral discussion over the former's crimes, Kincaid asks Bryce if the former is bad because he kills shady people or if Bryce is the bad one because he protects shady people. Bryce counters by asking how thoroughly Kincaid researched his targets. Kincaid asks the same question back, to which Bryce points out that he doesn't kill his targets.
    • Kincaid fires off another one near the end when he tells Bryce about all the things he did in order to rekindle Bryce's relationship with Amelia. Bryce of course rebuffs him, saying he doesn't need any help. Kincaid just laughs and asks him to reflect on how much of a mess Bryce's love life was before he intervened.
  • Artistic Licence - Geography: Nothing about the trip from Manchester to the International Criminal Court in The Hague makes any sense.
    • Driving from Manchester to the east coast of Britain does *not* take you through the narrow streets of downtown Coventry.
    • Driving all the way south to Dover to take a ferry to Amsterdam is just plain silly. You'd be better off using one of the more northern harbour cities, like Harwich — or, in a pinch, Hull — and get some boat there to cross directly to Scheveningen, a coastal town a few kilometers from The Hague.
    • Not that there actually is such a thing as a Dover-to-Amsterdam ferry service. Such a ferry would quickly cross the English Channel and then sail northeast along the coasts of France, Belgium and the Netherlands (passing The Hague on the way) and would then have to pass through the sealocks at IJmuiden and navigate through the Northsee Canal to get to Amsterdam, dodging the sea-going freighters and cruise ships there.
    • To get from Amsterdam to The Hague, rather than taking the direct southwest route along the A4 motorway, they apparently first went southeast to Utrecht and then west on the A12, passing Gouda (as seen on the roadsigns).
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • Massive liberties are taken to make Kincaid's testimony the only thing that can bring down Dukhovich. A victim whose family was killed in front of him and was put in a work camp for three years has his entire testimony dismissed out of hand, with the implications that all of the other witnesses so far have had the same. Such testimony would not simply be declared "hearsay" (which, by the way, is when a witness is asked what they were told happened by somebody else, not when they're asked what they themselves witnessed) and struck even if the defense claimed they were merely political opponents doing smear jobs. Somehow Kincaid was the only person to have pictures as proof of Dukhovich's crimes despite this being set in the modern day, and that is the only kind of evidence that seems to work.
    • Also, it is entirely possible to have witnesses testify from remote locations. Kincaid could easily have testified on a video chat from his cell and given the website information from there. This is common practice when the witness might be endangered by coming to the trial.
    • Even disregarding the above, you'd think the court would be a little more lax with the Exact Time to Failure considering that someone wracked up an a massive body count of officers and agents trying to murder Kincaid en route to the Hague.
  • A-Team Firing: Kincaid spends most of the movie taking down whoever he shoots at with a few well-placed shots or even one at a moment's notice, but when he's running after Dukhovich, nearly everything barely misses (aside from just one shot grazing his shoulder) until he has Dukhovich cornered. One could possibly attempt to explain it by how Kincaid was either standing still or much closer for all of his other shots in the movie otherwise.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Kincaid's victims were all shady people.
    • Garrett, the arrogant NCA officer who is part of the detail that's supposed to escort Kincaid to court deserves some mention, too.
    • Dukhovich, natch.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: During their first meeting and subsequent fight, Bryce deliberately kicks Kincaid in his wounded leg to reopen the wound and induce blood loss, causing Kincaid to eventually pass out.
  • Badass Boast: Kincaid, unsurprisingly.
    Bryce: My job is to keep you out of harm's way.
    Kincaid: [laughing] Shit, motherfucker. [dead serious] I am harm's way.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Foucher sends over a dozen of his men to their certain death just so he can rake in a tidy cheque from Dukhovich, and he doesn't seem to be particularly torn up about it. Later he does everything he can to try and cover his tracks, including attempting to murder Amelia on the premises of the freaking International Court of Justice in The Hague.
    • His actions as an evil dictator aside, Dukhovich doesn't earn any "Boss of the Year" points himself when he renegs on his deal with Foucher after the latter offered Kincaid up on a silver platter and Dukhovich's men failed to kill him in a prepared ambush. He has the gall to imply that it was Foucher who failed after Dukhovich's men failed at taking out their target.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: There's a good possibility that the bar where Kincaid and Sonia meet is one. Everyone there, including the waitress, seems to be a vicious fighter and brawler. Up to the point of setting a guy on fire during the final Bar Brawl referenced below.
  • Bald of Awesome: Kincaid has a bald head and is a master assassin.
  • Bar Brawl: Kincaid and Sonia met during one. There's another happening when they return to that bar during the epilogue for their anniversary.
  • Batman Gambit: Dukhovich carries out a simple one during the climax: He has a truck bomb detonated outside the courthouse, and when a nearby hospital sends an air Medevac, his men hijack it while another busts him out of his cell, so that he can meet the chopper on the roof and escape.
  • Beard of Evil: Most named antagonists sport one, plus a bunch of nameless mooks.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Bryce sports one after the Time Skip to show his fall from grace.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: In just one specific Rare Male Example, Bryce's head looks entirely fine even after Dukhovich's torturer zapped him twice with a wet towel over it. Otherwise though, he gets scuffed as can be expected and ends the film with his own blood splattered all over his clothes in places.
  • Big Bad: Dukhovich, the deposed President of Belarus, whose trial Bryce is trying to escort Kincaid to, so that he can testify.
  • Big Damn Kiss: After escaping prison, Kincaid shares a passionate kiss with Sonia in the same bar they met.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: When Bryce suggests Kincaid urinate in a flask, he snarkily replies that while Bryce's penis may be able to fit, his won't.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Amelia occasionally swears in French, but none of it is subtitled, let alone translated. Same goes for Sonia's incessant Spanish cussing.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Yes, Kincaid may be a world-class assassin but he's harmless when in comparison to the brutal dictator Dukhovich. While Kincaid only kills Asshole Victims, Dukhovich murders anyone, children included, for minor offenses.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Kincaid is one of the most infamous hitmen in the world, and Bryce has to protect him. Both men can easily take down multiple opponents at once and survive vicious firefights without a scratch.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Quite a few people get their skulls vented in a suitably bloody fashion, most of them in the early chapters.
  • Boring, but Practical: Bryce is the trope personified. He is almost completely pragmatic in his decision making, choosing to get things done with minimal fuss (such as picking a practical family car as a getaway vehicle versus a souped up sports car). Kincaid finds this trait to be boring and frustrating even if playing it safe is the smart choice. In one instance, when dealing the group of men hired by Dukhovich to kill Kincaid, Bryce decides to just knock the mooks out so nearby authorities won't notice. Of course, the first thing Kincaid does is blow that plan to smithereens.
    Bryce: What's our motto?
    Bodyguards: Boring is always best!
  • Break the Haughty: We first see Bryce in his fancy villa putting on fancy clothes, equipping fancy gear and kissing his beautiful girlfriend goodbye before he takes his fancy car to his prestigious, well-paid job. A few minutes and one Time Skip later, he's a washed-up single who lives out of his not-so-fancy car and seems to be the laughing stock of pretty much everyone he ever knew. But, since he has such a massive case of Never My Fault, he's still an egocentric jackass even then.
  • Break Them by Talking: Dukhovich tries to do this to Kincaid during their final showdown, pointing out that no matter how many people he killed, he'll never redeem himself. Kincaid's response is to laugh in Dukhovich's face and tell him he doesn't give a fuck about it, then tells him that he shouldn't have shot Kincaid's bodyguard before abruptly kicking him off the roof to his death.
  • Brick Joke:
    • While Sonia and Darius are talking on the phone, she claims he forgot their anniversary. They get cut off before he can answer. In the last scene, she is appeased because he broke out prison to avoid missing their anniversary.
    • Bryce keeps annoying Kincaid with his demands that he buckle up every time they're in a car. The one time Bryce himself doesn't follow this rule, he's promptly ejected through the windshield when Kincaid crashes their ride. Kincaid being who he is, he doesn't waste a second poking fun at his unwanted companion.
      Bryce: Jesus Christ! Really?!?!
      Kincaid: What happened to the seatbelt rule, motherfucker?!?!
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Towards the end, Bryce uses a mook to shield himself when The Dragon unloads his pistol into him. The bullets actually end up going straight through the mook anyway, but Bryce ends up unharmed because he was also using a steel lunch-tray as a second layer of protection.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: A variation, Played for Laughs: When Kincaid declares that he's going to kill Dukhovich as payback for them shooting Bryce, whom Dukhovich had never heard of before wounding him in a gunfight, the immediate response is an honestly puzzled "Who?"
  • Car Cushion: For Dukhovich courtesy of Kincaid kicking him over a ledge.
  • Car Fu: Agent Garrett takes out one of the mercenaries by putting a car in gear and shooting at it until it explodes.
  • Cassandra Truth: When being tortured about Kincaid's location, Bryce first offers an "if I knew, I would tell you," and a subsequent "he's right behind you," both phrases emphasized with a "Scout's Honor" salute and claim. His torturers don't believe him either time. They really should've.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Bryce continues with his exasperated speech to a bartender about Kincaid despite bullets in the air and other violence.
  • Character Title: "The Hitman's (Kincaid) Bodyguard (Bryce)".
  • Chekhov's Skill: In both his London villa and Amsterdam apartment, Bryce is shown to own multiple classic motorbikes, suggesting he has a passion and skill for riding. This later proves to be true, when he chases the Belorussians pursuing Kincaid through Amsterdam on a motorbike, skillfully outmanoeuvring and shooting at them at the same time.
  • Chick Magnet: Besides his wife, Kincaid manages to get a busload of nuns he and Bryce meet to look at him in interest.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Kincaid, to the point where Bryce complains that he has "singlehandedly ruined the word motherfucker."
  • Co-Dragons: Foucher and Ivan, the leader of the mercenaries hunting Kincaid and Bryce.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Just about every scene with Sonia runs on this since they usually consist of her cussing out police officers, mistreating her cellmate or outright massacring half a dozen guys in a bar (they sexually harassed her beforehand, but her brutality in return is definitely still Disproportionate Retribution) with whatever implements she can get her hands on, all of it Played for Laughs. Her husband Kincaid is no slouch in that department, either.
  • Compensating for Something: When testifying before the ICC, Kincaid gives the tribunal a web archive of Dukhovich massacring a village.
    Kincaid: Password is, uh, "DUKHOVICHISAdick", all caps. "Dick" is lower-case.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Seifert (Bryce's fall from grace client at the start of the film) must have been up to something unscrupulous, given that he had multiple gangsters from a French crime syndicate trying to kill him.
  • Crash-Into Hello: How Bryce and Amelia met (on a mafia funeral no less). Kincaid and Sonia had a similar first encounter, albeit much more violent.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Bryce's MO. He always likes to be prepared for any and all alternative situations. He's never prepared enough with Kincaid around though.
    • Dukovich isn't putting all his eggs in one basket when it comes to getting free. If killing Kincaid won't work, he has a back-up plan involving a hijacked chopper and a truck loaded with explosives.
  • Crusading Widower: The dissident who was forced to watch his family be murdered by Dukhovich is one of the eyewitnesses who testifies against the dictator in his trial. Unfortunately the defense convinces the ICC to strike his entire testimony as hearsay. Which is not remotely how hearsay works.
  • Dance of Romance: Kincaid and Sonia slow dance with each other in the same bar they met...while everyone else is fighting with each other.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Bryce alludes to Kincaid having one. There's more detail of Kincaid's past during his testimony against Dukhovich — his parents divorced, his mother remarried to an Abusive Parent, his preacher father was murdered just For the Evulz, and Darius killed his father's killer, leading him to start contract killing other Asshole Victims.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Bryce and Kincaid trade sarcastic quips with one another.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Kincaid's Improbable Aiming Skills' kryptonite seems to be running, as he misses a bunch while chasing the Big Bad on foot but can ventilate heads the moment they appear or shoot men out of cars while he's driving otherwise.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Dukhovich murders a man's wife and child in front of him in cold blood for daring to speak up against him. Our villain, ladies and gentlemen.
    • Kincaid, on the other hand, endangers his own chances of getting released in order to ensure his wife is released from jail.
    • Bryce is introduced flashing back to his greatest failure before cutting back to present day, where he has lost his status as a high-class bodyguard, is pissing into a juice bottle, and living out of his car. All which precede him extracting his client out of his home while revealing that he had taken care of all incoming assailants, figured out that the client's car was rigged with explosives, and saved the client's dog.
    • Sonia debuts doing yoga in a prison cell while forcing her terrified cellmate to stand in one corner facing the wall the whole time. Then she takes a phone call from Darius and begins yelling and cursing at him. Upon hearing him wince from removing a bullet from his leg, however, she stops and asks if he's okay.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Kincaid is consistently shown to genuinely love his wife.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The reason Kincaid opposes Dukhovich? He witnessed him order the slaughter of an innocent village.
  • Evil Counterpart: Both Kincaid and Dukhovich have committed numerous counts of murders, but while Kincaid only kills shady assholes, Dukhovich kills innocent people.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Even at his most polite, Dukovich can't mask what a sadistic, meglomaniacal monster he really is.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: By the end of the film, Kincaid and Bryce have developed great respect for each other. Kincaid in particular goes to kill Dukhovich not because of the dictator's actions or even to redeem himself, but to take revenge for Bryce's bullet wound inflicted by Dukhovich.
  • Foil:
    • Bryce is a bodyguard who protects shady people from their enemies and has a poor relationship with his ex-girlfriend Amelia. Kincaid is a hitman who kills shady people for profit and has a stable relationship with his wife Sonia.
    • Sonia and Amelia are an interesting example, given that they never meet or interact. Sonia is a Hot-Blooded convict with a very healthy relationship with her estranged husband, while Amelia is a cool-headed cop whose relationship with Bryce fell apart when his career took a nosedive.
  • Foreshadowing: Kincaid claims if Bryce is such a good agent, he needs to be willing to take a bullet to keep his target safe. Bryce gets shot tackling Kincaid to keep Dukhovich from shooting him.
  • Forced to Watch: Dukhovich forces a man who spoke out against him to watch the murders of his family to "teach" the man a lesson.
  • For the Evulz: Kincaid's first Asshole Victim was a man who killed a preacher because he just wanted to hurt someone. The preacher was Kincaid's father.
  • For Want of a Nail: Kincaid tells Bryce that a perfect killshot ended up misssing the intended target and accidentally grazing Bryce because the rock he was using for support slipped just as he pulled the trigger.
  • Freudian Excuse: Kincaid first started killing Asshole Victims after his first one murdered his father.
  • Funny Background Event: Bryce takes a moment to knock back some shots at an outdoor cafe and to vent about Kincaid to the bartender. As he's doing so, a major gun battle erupts just behind him and he pays no attention until an SUV crashes through the cafe and destroys the place's jukebox.
  • Going Commando: The first thing Kincaid does when he wakes up from blood loss-induced unconsciousness is bitch about the "hipster" clothes Bryce stuffed him into, but most of all he takes offence at the fact he's now wearing skivvies because that's not the way things are meant to be as far as he's concerned. It crops up again a bit later when he tries to take a leak with his hands cuffed and complains about it being much more difficult because of his unwanted briefs.
  • Gratuitous French: Bryce and Amelia mostly speak to each other in English but will slip into French as a way of indicating that they're being serious and want the other to listen to what they have to say.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: This is the case between Kincaid and Bryce. On the one hand, Kincaid is an assassin who had killed hundreds of people with no remorse, but all of his victims definitely deserved it. On the other, Bryce is a professional bodyguard who has saved hundreds of people from assassination, but most of his clients are unsavory people like crime lords and corrupt officials who have the money to pay for his services.
  • Handicapped Badass: Kincaid is shot in the leg after his transport is compromised. He manages to get the bullet out, but has to limp for the rest of the movie. Doesn't stop him from being a badass, though.
  • Happily Married: Darius and Sonia Kincaid. They may be an...eccentric couple, but they truly love one another and have a more stable relationship than Bryce and Amelia's more troubled one.
  • Hassle-Free Hotwire: To the point that nobody even needs to pull out any wires. They just connect what's already dangling freely underneath the steering column and drive off.
  • Heroic BSoD: Bryce goes through one barely two minutes into the prologue. When his client suffers a sudden case of death by sniper rifle bullet through the head, everyone including Bryce's own bodyguard team immediately bolts with various degrees of panic. Only Bryce doesn't move at all - he keeps staring at the blood-splattered plane window, apparently unable to comprehend that his perfect plan turned out to have at least one fatal flaw.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: Happens to a lot of bad guys.
    • Nearly everyone killed by Kincaid counts since almost every gun he uses in the movie was taken from Dukhovich's goons.
    • He also offs Dukhovich's Torture Technician with the latter's own torture implements.
    • One merc accidentally blows up his own SUV with the rocket launcher he intended to use on Kincaid instead, courtesy of Bryce's Car Fu.
    • One of Dukhovich’s men is stabbed with his own knife by Kincaid during the climax.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Averted; Bryce's suppressed SIG-Sauer and Kincaid's suppressed Beretta 92FS are depicted sounding like they would in Real Life and most of the time the suppressors are pointless, as the two men get into loud firefights with enemies using unsupressed weapons.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: During the Amsterdam fight, there are several times where Kincaid is in an open topped boat with next to no cover and multiple people firing at him with automatic weapons and he still doesn't get so much as grazed.
  • Impersonating an Officer: One of Dukhovich's men disguises himself as a United Nations security guard to gain access to the ICC and break the dictator out, killing two soldiers in the process.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Kincaid headshots three mooks with a pistol over a distance of at least 50 meters, in the dark of night, against the brightness of a car's headlights, in less than one second. And then there's what he does to Dukhovich's escape helicopter in the finale...
  • In Love with Your Carnage: How Kincaid fell in love with his wife Sonia; he witnessed her slaughter a bunch of thugs who were harassing her, and it was Love at First Sight.
  • Insistent Terminology: Bryce insists that he was a "Triple-A Rated Executive Protection Agent" before the job that went south. Numerous characters mockingly reply that isn't a thing, and the opening sequence seems to imply it's something he made up as a marketing angle; it's left ambiguous if it's an official term or not.
  • Interpol Special Agent: Interpol is depicted as the enforcement arm of the International Criminal Court, rolling around in SUVs, wearing body armor, armed to the teeth, and having outranking authority pretty much everywhere. None of this is remotely close to real life.
  • Keep It Foreign: For obvious reasons, Dukhovich became a Bosnian in the Russian and Belarusian Russian-language dub.
  • Knee-capping: Kincaid does this to Dukhovich in the finale with a single casual shot from the hip.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Dukhovich. His scenes at the Hague are not played for laughs, and his introduction where he ransacks the home of a professor before executing his family while he's Forced to Watch as well as the climax where he blows up the Hague after he's found guilty are pretty horrific.
  • Land of Tulips and Windmills: Shots of the countryside in the Netherlands show fields with cows and have windmills digitally pasted in. Averted with the tulips: they are mentioned not prominently shown.
  • Last Disrespects: This is how Bryce and Amelia first met. They were at the funeral of one of Bryce's clients and she was there to hopefully bust the client's shady family. They were easily spotted and a fight ensued, which included the casket of the dead client being knocked over.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Bryce's comments about Kincaid's use of the word "motherfucker" sound a lot like a dig at Samuel L Jackson.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Kincaid isn't really into stuff like planning and tactics. If there's a quick and easy solution, he'll take it without a second thought, consequences be damned, which results in him leeroying Bryce's plans on a regular basis. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: How Kincaid was captured by Interpol. On a job he received a call saying that Sonia had been in a serious car accident, so rushed back to Mexico City to visit her in hospital without thinking of doing any prior surveillance. However, upon arrival he was not greeted by his wife but a dozen armed agents who arrested him.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Kincaid suffers a metric ton of debilitating injuries that should've put him out of commission individually (worst of all being shot in the leg barely ten minutes into the story), but none of them even slow him down for long, and he continues to perform impossible athletic feats regardless.
    • Bryce doesn't get it quite as bad, but he, too, doesn't let a windshield ejection (from which he rolls and immediately gets back up to berate Kincaid before running from incoming fire), Cold-Blooded Torture and various other injuries keep him from fulfilling his mission.
    • Ivan takes it to a stunning extreme by continuing to fight with a huge nail shot into his forehead and a frickin' axe head lodged in his belly. It takes strangling him with a heavy chain and then putting three bullets through his chest to finally put him down for good.
  • Make an Example of Them: Dukhovich is introduced executing a professor's wife and children because he figures executing the professor for treason will simply inspire another dissident to step up and take his place.
  • Male Gaze: Two for Sonia during Kincaid's flashback into when they first met. First, a good shot of her butt, and then, a close up of her cleavage.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": When Dukhovich unveils his backup plan in the form of a large truck bomb going off on a crowded street, the responses from pretty much everyone is this, up to and including hospital staff sounding the alarm and preparing for a full-blown Mass Casualty response.
  • Meaningful Rename: In his testimony, Kincaid reveals "Kincaid" wasn't his original last name. It was Darius Evans. He changed the name after his mother remarried.
  • Mistaken for Terrorist: In the confusion during the car chase shootout in Amsterdam, the Dutch police nearly end up shooting two plainclothes Interpol agents, initially mistaking them for more Belorussian operatives.
  • The Mole: Assistant Director Foucher sells out Kincaid for a tidy profit.
  • Mole in Charge: The aforementioned Assistant Director Foucher is, well, the Assistant Director of Interpol.
  • Morality Pet: Kincaid's love and devotion to Sonia is one of his redeeming qualities.
  • Motive Rant: Dukhovich gives one during the climax, stating his belief that as the "rightful" ruler of his country, no one in the world has authority over him, and he has the right to do whatever he wants. He gets one earlier, too, claiming that everything he does is to "serve the people". Which is somewhat undermined by his willingness to massacre large chunks of "the people".
  • Mundane Utility: Aside from shooting lots of people with it, Kincaid thinks nothing of using his silenced pistol to deflate some airbags after Bryce crashed their car. Bryce isn't amused.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Kincaid prefers to kill Asshole Victims. It is this philosophy that is the main reason he ends up testifying against Dukhovich.
  • Neck Snap: Averted; Foucher, the Assistant Director of INTERPOL working for Dukhovich, fights Amelia and puts her in a chokehold position to presumably break her neck, but Bryce shoots Foucher before he can do anything.
  • Never My Fault: Bryce's main flaw. He blames his personal problems either on Amelia or Kincaid, but refuses to see his own wrongdoings. He does in the end. This is what drove him and Amelia apart, as he blames Amelia for the death of one of his clients. It wasn't her fault, but in this specific instance it wasn't his either, just plain bad luck.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Belarusian dictator Vladislav Dukhovich is a thinly-veiled reference to Real Life Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko.
  • Noodle Incident: All of the previous times Kincaid tried to kill Bryce. It's never even explained why someone would want Bryce dead, unless these were incidents of Kincaid attempting to kill his clients and having to go through Bryce.
  • Obviously Evil: One doesn't even need to be told that there's a mole in Interpol to know that Assistant Director Foucher is up to no good.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: How Kincaid took out the mercs outside the building Bryce was being tortured in isn't shown. All we see is bullet-riddled cars and a dozen corpses when he escorts Bryce off the premises. Kincaid then gets another one later when he breaks out of prison in the end.
  • Oh, Crap!: Kincaid's face screams this during the chase through Amsterdam when he sees one of Dukhovich's mercs draw a bead on his speedboat with an M72 rocket launcher.
  • One Head Taller: Both protagonists have this dynamic with their respective love interests.
  • One-Man Army:
    • Both Kincaid and Bryce show skill at handling and defeating a number of Dukhovich's men on their own.
    • When she first met her husband, Sonia killed all the men who were harassing her.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: The dissident's family (including his child) were killed by Dukhovich.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Discussed. Kincaid may be a contract killer, but all his targets were themselves criminals. As he points out to Bryce, Bryce's job is to protect the bad guys: e.g. Kurosawa in the prologue was an Arms Dealer.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Sonia is physically diminutive but the first time Kincaid laid eyes on her was as she was beating the crap out of a bar full of tough guys.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Kurasawa's murder is what started Bryce's fall from grace.
  • Police Are Useless: From beginning to end, INTERPOL is utterly useless in stopping the machinations of Dukhovich or his mercenaries from trying to kill Kincaid, though a lot of this can be attributed to Assistant Director Foucher's meddling. There are many moments where the regular INTERPOL officers are utterly useless in dealing with Kincaid or the mercenaries hunting him.
  • President Evil: Dukhovich, the deposed former dictator of Belarus, who committed genocide and casual murder of political enemies and critics of his regime, just because he could.
  • Price on Their Head: To prevent Kincaid from testifying against him, Dukhovich puts a hit out on him. He's forced to stay with Bryce after his transport convoy is attacked because of the price on his head.
  • Professional Killer: Kincaid is a world-famous assassin.
  • Properly Paranoid: Due to Foucher being in league with Dukhovich, Kincaid was quite right to keep the photos secret until reaching the courthouse.
  • Race Against the Clock: Kincaid and Bryce have till 5PM to show up to court or Dukhovich goes free.
  • Rasputinian Death: Ivan's death involved being struck a few times with heavy objects on the head, getting shot up with a nailgun, and getting shot a few times while being strangled with a chain.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • The opening scene of Bryce protecting a Japanese arms dealer shows that just because you meticulously plan something, it does not mean it won't go to shit due to the possibility of something unforeseen occurring, in this case, a hitman 300 meters away, who was actually there for someone else and took the shot at Kurosawa as a target of opportunity.
    • Agent Garrett and his team put up a good fight, but sheer numbers and a boxed-in ambush zone eventually wipe them out. Sometimes skill and creativity aren't enough when a fresh wave of enemies can just shoot you in the back.
    • During their first fight, Kincaid collapses from the blood loss he sustained from his injured leg caused by Bryce reopening it.
    • Kincaid tries to make a risky jump off a roof to a scaffold across the street. He misses, falls, and crashes into a dumpster, hurting himself.
    • At one point Bryce and Kincaid are trapped in a building with both the police and the villain's hitmen closing in. Bryce is planning to evade the hitmen by taking a different exit route, when Kincaid decides to take matters into his own hands and jumps in to shoot all of them quickly. Bryce says, "Well done. Guess what happens now?" and cut to the police yelling "Shots fired!" and immediately storming the building.
    • Kincaid punches a glass window and ends up cutting up his hand, averting Soft Glass.
    • After learning that Kincaid had killed his client and unintentionally sent his life into the downward spiral it is, Bryce, justifiably, quits protecting Kincaid, but he does come back, after realizing how serious his job is and being unable to stand around and not help protect Kincaid from the massive army of mercenaries that came out of nowhere.
    • Before going to the courthouse, Bryce takes the time to call Amelia to say that he forgives her for causing his client in the opening to get killed and ruining his life; Amelia proceeds to curse at him and tell him to hurry up. Then, later, after getting nearly tortured to death, Bryce calls Amelia again, more apologetic and humble for blaming her for every bad thing that happened to him after his client was killed, especially since it turns out Kincaid was responsible; Amelia still is indifferent and just wants Kincaid at the trial. When the fate of a piece of human garbage being punished is determined on the sole testimony of a man being in a courtroom, alive, it really isn't a good time to try to patch things up with your ex. In fact, Amelia and Bryce are only able to do that at the near end, when Dukhovich is killed. Though it's also implied that Bryce wanted to let her know his regrets in case he doesn't survive.
    • Accelerating and jumping your bog-standard family van out of an underground garage straight into traffic is unlikely to end in a smooth landing and a slick departure - a lesson Bryce and Kincaid learn the hard way.
      • After the crash, Bryce blames it on being used to right-hand drive cars, which is justifiable; despite being an American, he is shown to have lived in Britain for presumably several years and probably hasn't driven a left-handed in a long time.
    • When the case turns against Dukhovich, he has his men bomb the building and tries to escape. What, you thought a psychopathic madman was going to play fair?
    • The security bollards outside the International Criminal Court are able to stop a large truck from ramming into the building. However they cannot stop the sudden inertia caused by the stop flipping the trailer over and detonating the explosives anyway.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: Kincaid, a contract killer, is brought forth to be a witness against a dictator facing war crimes charges.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kincaid is the rash, violent Red Oni to Bryce's logical, cool-headed Blue Oni.
  • Red Right Hand: Dukhovich has heavy acne scarring on his face as a result of dioxin poisoning from a failed assassination attempt.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Subverted. Dukhovich messages Foucher that his failure to stop Kincaid will be punished painfully, but Dukhovich is killed before he can go through with the threat and Roussel and Bryce subdue Foucher.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: The final showdown between Kincaid and Dukhovich.
  • Running Gag: Bryce's car smells like ass.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Dukovich outright states that he is the rightful ruler of Belarus, can do whatever he wishes, and does not recognise any authority that tries to limit his power.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Kincaid is able to deliver his testimony, Dukhovich's response is to bomb the courtroom and run like hell.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Zigzagged. At first it looks like Bryce is the "Sensitive Guy" due to his logical, calm nature while the hot-headed, violent Kincaid is the "Manly Man". But, when it comes to love, Kincaid is more skilled and thoughtful in that area while Bryce is just dense.
  • Shipper on Deck: Kincaid notices right away that Amelia and Bryce have a romantic history together and knows that Bryce still has feelings for her. He spends most of his and Bryce's time together trying (and succeeding) to get the latter back together with Amelia.
  • Shoot the Hostage Taker: Bryce saves Amelia’s life by shooting Foucher as he tries to strangle her.
  • Shout-Out:
    • This film's publicity campaign milked every reference to The Bodyguard that it could, using Whitney Houston's rendition of "I Will Always Love You" in trailers and recreating The Bodyguard's iconic poster in minute detail.
    • The fight scene between Bryce and Dukhovich's mooks is shot in a very similar fashion to Kingsman: The Secret Service's church scene.
    • The climax takes place at a courthouse and the villain causes a disturbance, followed by him shooting at a protagonist causing another character to take the bullet for him, then the protagonist chases the villain on the courthouse's rooftop and eventually corners him with the villain attempting to taunt the protagonist, only for the protagonist to shove the villain off the roof to his death in revenge for his friend, and the villain lands on a car below. Sound familiar?
    • The Japanese client Bryce fails to protect in the opening is named Kurosawa.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Dukhovich attempts to break Kincaid by pointing out how many people he has killed and that he will never redeem himself. Kincaid's response is to laugh in his face, tell him he doesn't care about redemption in the slightest, and shove him off of a rooftop for no more reason than because he hurt Bryce.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Sonia delivers Cluster F Bombs in every scene she's in.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: Bryce's stealthy, analytical, and methodical approach contrasts sharply with Kincaid's more direct, brute force methods. Bryce's methods are shown to be effective, but he also often fails to act in time because he was busy planning things out. Kincaid's methods, in contrast, make him a complete badass in a fight, but often cause him to sustain unnecessary injuries and create needless complications.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Kincaid's preacher father. It was his murder that was the first step in his son becoming a contract killer.
  • Smug Snake: Dukhovich has two modes: viscerally angry, or quietly smug. He is completely convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that he will be released and return to power. That makes the look of absolute terror on his face when Kincaid shoots his means of escape down extremely cathartic.
  • Spanner in the Works: Bryce works hard to try to ensure his protection missions go smoothly, but Kincaid is a factor he constantly can't predict throughout the film. In act three of the film he finally gives up on trying to predict what Kincaid's going to do and just follows behind him to cover his six. It even turns out that what happened in the prologue was one of these. Bryce predicted and compensated for everything that could possibly go wrong while transporting Kurosawa, except Kincaid, by sheer dumb luck, being on a rooftop within rifle shot of Kurosawa's plane, having set up there with the intention of killing some other rich and powerful bad guy, and happened to recognize Kurosawa.
  • Stealth Parody: Of British criminal films and the action movies of the zero years in particular.
  • Stock Scream: A Wilhelm Scream is uttered by a cyclist in Amsterdam when he's pushed off the road and into the adjacent town canal during the car/boat/motorcycle chase scene.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: All over the place in multiple scenes.
  • SWAT Team: Several highly skilled units from multiple countries are seen in the film.
    • The majority of the security for the convoy transporting Kincaid to the ICC is provided by French GIPN operatives. They are accompanied by firearms officers from the UK's National Crime Agency, which has been dubbed "the British FBI".
    • An Armed Response Unit from the West Midlands Police responds to the gunfight that takes place in the Interpol safe house in Coventry.
    • The International Criminal Court is guarded by heavily armed members of the Royal Netherlands Army aligned with the United Nations.
  • Take That!: "When life gives you shit, you make Kool-Aid."
  • Taking the Bullet: Kincaid tells Bryce that he would expect a "triple A rated executive protection agent" to be willing to take a bullet for him. In the climax, when Dukhovich attempts to shoot Kincaid, Bryce delivers and jumps in the way.
  • Tattooed Crook:
    • Kincaid has tattoos on the back of his head and on both hands. He's also a professional killer.
    • His wife Sonia doesn't hesitate to brutally murder several men that were harassing her, and she also happens to rock some tats.
    • Goran, Dukhovich's personal Torture Technician, is tattooed all over and thus makes both of the above look harmless in comparison.
  • Technical Pacifist: Though Bryce is willing to kill when there's no other choice, for the most part he prefers to take out enemies non-lethally, either with Tap on the Head fisticuffs or Only a Flesh Wound shots. Kincaid, in contrast, more straightforwardly just shoots his enemies dead.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Bryce and Kincaid are mortal enemies and wouldn't mind killing each other if it weren't for the fact that they need to work together to survive.
  • Tempting Fate: Two instances happen within minutes of each other while Bryce and Kincaid are travelling across the English countryside.
    • Bryce starts texting "no problems so far" to Amelia while Kincaid is taking a leak. He hasn't even sent it when he's forced to notice Kincaid's sudden absence.
    • After the shootout in which Dukhovich's mercs blew up their car and cooked off Bryce's ammo reserves in its trunk, Kincaid calms him down by pointing out the mercs' undamaged, stocked-up vehicle nearby. Cue one more round cooking off, shooting along the street and blowing up this car as well in a single hit. Kincaid finds this Actually Pretty Funny.
  • Tension-Cutting Laughter: One of Kincaid's defining traits. Whenever he and someone else reach a tense standoff in a conversation, chances are very good he'll suddenly burst out laughing for no apparent reason. Since he's played by Samuel L. Jackson, it's almost impossible to not crack up as well when it happens.
  • Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change: Dukhovich became a Bosnian in the Russian-language dub, but this humorously contrasts the Belarusian flags and mercenaries, played by Russian actors who speak pure Russian.
  • Time Skip: A two-year timeskip in the beginning.
  • Toilet Humor: Sonia's (significantly larger) cellmate is so terrified of the tiny foulmouthed moll that she rips a very audible fart at the height of Sonia's first obscenity-riddled tantrum.
  • Torture Technician: Dukhovich has a personal one, a fearsomely tattooed, bearded brute named Goran with an apparent penchant for Electric Torture. Bryce is interrogated by him to get information about where Kincaid is. When Kincaid himself suddenly shows up to free Bryce, Goran suffers a well-deserved Karmic Death by being electrocuted to death with the very same implements he just used on Bryce.
  • Torture Is Ineffective: Bryce tries to inform his torturers that torture is ineffective for gaining true information and suggests they try to form a bond with him instead, but they ignore him and zap his head after throwing a wet cloth over it.
  • Unknown Rival: Dukhovich had absolutely no clue about Bryce's existence or involvement and is reasonably confused when Kincaid declares he is avenging Bryce.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Kincaid only shot Kurasawa because he was an arms dealer and Kincaid happened to spot him. Kincaid did not intend to ruin Bryce's career or his relationship with Amelia.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Upon being exposed, Dukhovich says that all the charges against him are true — but then rants that as the rightful ruler of his country, he can do whatever he wants and will answer to no authority that tries to limit his power, leading to his backup plan involving bombing the court.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Kincaid's wife tends to refer to him with various levels of profanity, but they really do love each other. Kincaid and Bryce also evolve into this by the end.
  • Walking Armory: When Kincaid finally enters the ICJ in The Hague, the metal detectors object immediately. Cue Kincaid producing at least half a dozen well-concealed handguns from various pockets of his suit while Bryce is looking on in exasperation, having had no idea that his charge had acquired so many guns without him noticing. And all the while the clock's ticking...
  • Warrior Poet: In contrast to the disillusioned, cynical, and ignorant Bryce (who is willing to protect murderers and tyrants for money), Kincaid is an unapologetic romantic who is sentimental to a fault, sharp of wit and philosophy, capable of surprising eloquence in word and song, all wrapped in an ironclad sense of honor (only killing monsters who have it coming, no-one else).
  • We Have Reserves: Dukovich seems to have an inexhaustible supply of mercenaries/loyalists at his disposal. Which is suprising, considering they'd have to travel, equip, operate, and remain undetected a thousand miles away from his powerbase.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kincaid and Amelia, mostly the former, call out Bryce for blaming others for his problems.
  • What You Are in the Dark: At separate times, Kincaid and Bryce have opportunities to leave the other to die by Dukhovich's men, especially since they want to be away from each other. But each time, they come back and rescue each other.
  • Working with the Ex: Amelia calls Bryce into the plot to escort Kincaid after she realizes Interpol has been compromised. After the initial meeting, they only interact over the phone until Bryce and Kincaid arrive at the Hague.
  • World of Ham: It's a buddy comedy with Samuel L. Jackson starring opposite Gary Oldman, so this was pretty much a given from the outset. Toward the end of it, Bryce asks Kincaid why are they always yelling.
  • Worst Aid: Kincaid performs self-aid on his shot leg.
  • Worthy Opponent: Bryce and Kinkaid are mortal enemies who have (often literally) been each other's throats for years, but after taking down Dukovich they it is clear as day they've come to respect (and maybe even like) each other, in spite of their efforts to pretend otherwise.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Dukhovich kills a dissident's family, which includes the man's wife.
    • Sonia was roughed up by some jerks who were harassing her.
    • Foucher tries to kill Amelia to escape punishment.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The first thing Dukhovich does onscreen is shoot the wife and child of a dissident in cold blood.
  • You Have Failed Me: Downplayed. When the first attempt on Kincaid's life fails, Dukhovich rewards Foucher with a pen through his hand, but allows him another chance at killing him.
  • You Killed My Father: Kincaid's first kill was a man who broke into his church and beat his father, the pastor, to death because "he was looking for someone to hurt".

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