The Hitman's Bodyguard

 

            This is one of those “buddy” movies that's equal parts repartee and shoot-'em-up.

Oh, there's a plot, or at least a semblance of one.  Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) is the Hitman, and Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is his Bodyguard.  Kincaid has agreed to be a witness in the International Court of Justice, in Amsterdam, but they're having a hard time getting there, because the bad guy he's supposed to testify against has plenty of henchmen trying to stop Kincaid.

            But Kincaid is known as “The Cockroach” because he can't be killed.  He seems to survive every gun battle intact (well, he did get hit once, in the leg, but that just made him limp a little).  We also have chase scenes complete with lots of car crashes, and during all this Kincaid and Bryce are discussing their love lives.

            It seems that Kincaid is deeply in love with Sonia (Salma Hayek), but she's incarcerated, as well, and he bargains to testify in exchange for her release.  Bryce, meanwhile, has blown it with his beau, Amelia (Elodie Yung), because he blames her for sabatoging his career.  In fact, it wasn't her fault, but he was too stubborn to listen.  So his foul-mouthed protagonist, Kincaid, has to talk some sense into him, at the same time they're trying to escape the cadre of bad guys sent after them.  Oh, and the local gendarmes don't seem to be much help, either.

            The sound track is important to setting the mood, everything from jangling techno rock to soft-spoken blues.  It's just real enough to make the comedy work, and it's just tongue-in-cheek enough to not take all the violence too seriously.  (We fully expect everyone to get up after every scene.)

            It won't win any Oscars, and it won't make anyone's Top Ten list for the year.  But it's got plenty of action, interspersed humor, and a little soft spot for romance.  Just don't bring the kids.

 

Questions for Discussion:

1)                  In what movies do you remember rooting for the prisoner?

2)                  When have you blamed someone else and later found out it wasn't their fault?

3)                  Would you be willing to give up your freedom for someone else's?

 

Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, DFW Film Critics Association