5 Good Reasons Why ‘THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD’ Will Be The Sleeper Hit Of The Summer


Samuel L Jackson and Ryan Reynolds in THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD. Courtesy of Summit/ Lionsgate.

Courtney Howard // Film Critic

Summertime and the livin’s easy. And there’s no better month than August to beat the heat, taking shelter in a cool theater. Why not be the beneficiary of those sweltering weather conditions and see a hot movie at the same time as you cool down?! THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD can help with that – a film I’m gonna go on record saying will be the sleeper hit of the Summer despite its late Summer release date.

Why and how am I able to make such a bold prediction? Take a look at the trailer as evidence… and further below, let me count the five reasons why I think it will do boffo box office numbers.

Looks friggin’ fantastic, right?!

Let’s get scrappy and plunge into my top five reasons why this ought to be a slam dunk for Summit/ Lionsgate, starting from most obvious to least obvious (though still rather obvious).

5. The stellar cast. Reynolds is beloved as the fast-talking, quippy comeback guy. Jackson is similarly beloved as the no-nonsense, swear- word-spewing action movie hero. Together, they form the perfect duo – a celebration of their celebrity personas, thus elevating the already strong material. Add in Oldman as the bad guy and… BOOM! You’ve got yourself a solid, “go” picture.

4. Tom O’Connor’s strong concept. It’s a terrific premise: what would happen if a hitman needed a bodyguard? Additionally, what would happen if they didn’t get along? Fireworks and clashing character dynamics would ensue – that’s what would happen! The formula at play here brilliantly works for a reason. This is more proof.

3. Action-comedy that places equal emphasis on both genres. Some action-comedies as of late (I’m looking right at you BAYWATCH and CHIPS) haven’t been able to achieve a perfect balance between the two. Judging by the teaser and above trailer, the filmmakers have nailed the most difficult of challenges.

2. The competition is slim and won’t be splitting its audience. Right now, THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD opens opposite director Steven Soderbergh’s (potentially triumphant) return to cinema, LOGAN LUCKY. However, that film, distributed by Bleecker Street, is testing out a new distribution model that will either fly or fail, potentially complicating where audiences can see it despite being listed as opening wide. This won’t be the case for HITMAN’S as that will open wide, probably in more theaters. Another factor into my predicted success for it is that there isn’t another star-powered action film opening until September 15 (AMERICAN ASSASSIN), meaning there’s the potential for HITMAN to have legs.

1. Laughs and thrills provoke an immediate pleasure response. In marketing, people strive to hit on “The Magic Three“: Humor, awe and thrills. Punchlines have to be clever to be interpreted as entertaining – as does the action spectacle and thrilling stunt work. THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD appears to have the covetable trifecta. Director Patrick Hughes (EXPENDABLES 3) seems to know his way around comedic timing and narrative-driven action – something that’s clear in the teaser and above trailer.


THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD opens on August 18.

About author

Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, CCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.