There is nothing like seeing two heavyweights come together that can make quite the spectacle on the big screen. I mean it’s hard to forget seeing Newman and Redford together for the first time, or when Pacino and De Niro graced the same screen for ten minutes. Watching two greats come together is enough to leave you speechless in most cases. Now we can add another pair to that list, not so much on par with the names stated above, but in a different kind of way. These two greats lead the way with their mouth and no matter what film they are in, you always remember they are in it. So now we enter “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”.
How may you ask could there be enough dialogue for both Ryan Reynolds and Sam Jackson, well we are about to find out. Michael Bryce (Reynolds) used to be a triple A rated protector or a man who keeps people from getting killed. When one of his jobs goes bad, he loses everything and goes from protecting the top of the food chain to protecting the bottom of it. Fate though is going to give him another chance when his ex-girlfriend Amelia (Elodie Yung) needs his help getting someone safe passage. That someone is Darius Kincaid (Jackson) who you might say is Bryce’s arch nemesis as he is an assassin who has had many run in’s with each other in their past. They realize that they must work together to stay alive, thus making them like the odd couple only instead of leaving notes on a pillow they are killing whoever gets in their way. Bryce likes to plan things out, while Kincaid likes to go with the flow, with each having to adapt their styles. What remains to be seen is will they kill each other or will Kincaid make it in time to take down a dictator named Dukhivich (Gary Oldman) and end his evil ways.
Worrying if there would be enough screen for the massive presence of both Jackson and Reynolds is definitely a concern. You had to figure one guy had to tone it down some, and one indeed did, that being Reynolds. Sure he has his normal sarcastic way of answering questions, but with less flair. Jackson on the other hand takes the alpha dog position and every time he and Reynolds share the screen, Jackson’s colorful metaphors win out. In fact the only one who can match Jackson’s bravado is Salma Hayek, who as his wife really do make the perfect couple. In the case of “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” Jackson and Hayek are really the only bright points, as there are few laughs to have throughout the movie.
Neutering Reynolds did not help, but if you had both him and Jackson turned on high, I don’t know if we could have survived that. The lack of laughs are not the only problem, so is a score that just doesn’t fit and action scenes whose special effects look like they were made with a home computer by a first year film student. This should have worked better, but director Patrick Hughes and writer Tom ’ O Conner did nothing to help their cause. For a film about two expert marksmen, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” keep missing their targets, leaving the audience stuck in the crossfire.