The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is just as ridiculous as its predecessor and more convoluted. The star power is enough to warrant laughter thanks to the chemistry between the film’s leads, but it doesn’t excuse its underwhelming story. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard could be considered more fun than the original and that’s mostly due to the comedic banter between Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, and Samuel L. Jackson. Hayek joins Jackson and Reynolds full-time for this outing and her addition makes the film better. If not for these three and the hilarious adventure they tackle, the film would be a complete misfire.
One improvement from the original film is the attempt to flesh out the characters beyond their professional titles (hitman, con-woman, bodyguard). While Jackson and Reynolds played off each other’s personalities very well, The Hitman’s Bodyguard never made either of the two the most interesting characters, which left the film forgettable. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard isn’t that much better as a whole, but the added backstories are appreciated. Directed by Patrick Hughes and written by Tom O’Connor, Brandon Murphy, and Phillip Murphy. The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Frank Grillo, and Morgan Freeman. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard reunites Michael Bryce (Reynolds) with Darius Kincaid (Jackson) and his wife Sonia (Hayek). Michael is supposed to be on a break from bodyguarding but is recruited by Sonia to help save Darius, his favorite hitman. This obnoxious adventure leads them to mafia kingpin, Aristotle Papadopolous (Banderas), who shares a history with Sonia.
Adding in Sonia from the bleacher’s assists in making this film more enjoyable than it should be. Hayek’s over-the-top behavior makes up for the atrocious dialogue unleashed by Sonia. Michael and Darius, arguably the most uninteresting frenemies to date have their relationship enhanced by Sonia’s presence. Darius is once again displayed as nothing more than Jackson portraying himself. The dialogue in this film grows tiring, specifically Jackson’s overuse of his favorite word that audiences know and love. Michael’s sabbatical from work is short-lived after Sonia reels him into Darius’ latest troublemaking. Details about Michael’s past are uncovered once the dysfunctional trio meets Michael’s father, Senior (Freeman). A moment that is sure to spark laughter with audiences, after meeting Michael’s father it is revealed that his mother died in a bizarre freak accident. This adds motivation behind his bodyguard career since he blames himself for his mother’s demise.
Sonia and Darius’ reckless love for each other is put to the test by Aristotle, who promises Sonia the family she desperately wants, which Darius can’t provide due to his unfortunate medical condition brought on by Michael’s impeccable marksmanship. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard embraces the goofiness of its story, but it fizzles out into being a mess for the most part. There is far too much being juggled, with little room to digest the important plot elements. Europe has a virus on the way, Michael’s father is ashamed of him, and Aristotle’s role as the primary antagonist is forgettable due to the poor time management of this narrative. Jackson, Reynolds, and Hayek deliver exhilarating performances as this unusual trio of characters. Their chemistry is the film’s greatest asset and makes up for the narrative shortcomings. Hughes keeps the film exciting with its fast pacing and eye-catching action sequences. However, tonally the feel can be uneven at times due to its constant desire to crack a joke, some that aren’t very funny.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard coast on star power to hide its unoriginality and shoestring plot. It may be nostalgic for those who grew up with films like this from the 1980s, but it’s ultimately just a dumb, fun, action-comedy. It builds on the goofiness of its predecessor and doesn’t overstay its welcome like the original film. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard requires very little brain activity and delivers an action-packed time at the theater.