Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Eloide Yung, Salma Hayek, Tsuwayuki Saotome, Richard E. Grant, Gary Oldman, Rod Hallett, Yuri Kolokolnikov, Michael Gor, Barry Atsma, Kirsty Mitchell, Tine Joustra, Sam Hazeldine, Joaquim de Almeida, Georgie Glen, Dijarn Campbell.
Whilst the plot maybe unknown till you get in the cinema, you don’t need to be any combination of Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple or Inspector Morse to deduce that any film starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson is going to endeavour to pull some hard punches and give the audience reason to laugh inappropriately. It is in the nature of both actors to ensure that a cinema crowd does not feel bereft of the charm that they exude on screen, that they are not shielded from anything from that which might distract the flow of violence in The Hitman’s Bodyguard.
The chemistry between the two main leads in The Hitman’s Bodyguard is impressive, whilst there may be those who will raise an eyebrow and suggest that both Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson are merely playing extensions of themselves, the suitable response might well be just to enjoy two actors who revel and deliver, without hesitation, fine performances when required in the run the mouth off and shoot questions later genre.
That performance is to be expected when you place both actors in a film a dynamic that is hard not to like, foolhardy, filled with bullets and action, the more grimy side of the English language and with a moment of clarity which asks the salient question of who really is the good guy, is it the man who protects and saves his clients or the one who, whilst essentially assassinating people, is taking evil off the streets and giving hope that humanity does not have to live under the tyranny of a President or ruler of a country who is not fit to lead.
It is the dichotomy of this question which leads to the shift in the audience’s appreciation of the storyline, that for all the attitude, good humoured impertinence and posturing, the heart of the matter boils down to being able to deal with a man who has no compassion, no concern over life and death over his citizens, to whom power has become absolute. In that question what would you be, the good man who protects or the assassin with a conscience?
Whilst the chemistry between Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Jackson remains tight and humour filled, the reverse could be said to be the opposite between Ryan Reynolds and Eloide Yung, who plays his former lover and Interpol office Amelia Roussel, rarely do two people seem to suggest their antagonism played out on screen is anything but the truth of the matter, no chemistry, no sense of borderline enjoyment, for all the professions of love, the film goer might as well have been rooting for the bromance to flourish.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a very good film, one that defies the belief and preconception that might form in a few segments of trailers and magazine snapshots.
Ian D. Hall