‘THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD’ drops the mic on bodyguard movies

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Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) in THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD. Image Courtesy of Lionsgate Entertainment.

Courtney Howard // Film Critic

Maybe it’s because I’ve had a glass of housewife water (Chardonnay) with lunch, but the new trailer for THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD is really striking a lovely chord with my action-comedy-loving soul right now. Eat sh*t, THE BODYGUARD. Go where the light don’t shine, BEYOND THE LIGHTS. There’s a new, bigger, bolder, BETTER “bodyguard movie” in town, starring my bae/ 2nd husband Ryan Reynolds and the baddest MF in town, Samuel L. Jackson. Get ready for THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD!

Directed by Patrick Hughes (THE EXPENDABLES 3) and written by Tom O’Connor (FIRE WITH FIRE), this ingenious tale has Reynolds playing the protector of the “most wanted” assassin in the world (Jackson), who just so happens to also be his mortal enemy. What would that look like? See below.

First of all, this is one of the best cut trailers I’ve seen in recent memory. I genuinely laughed the three times I watched it. Before you can even think, They should set this to Whitney Houston’s version of ‘I Will Always Love You’, the opening orchestral plays that exact song. After Houston’s perfect, angelic voice begins to sing, we hear Reynolds and Jackson exchange profanity-laden expletives that run in beautiful counter-intuitive juxtaposition to Dolly Parton’s romantic lyrics. Later, we hear Reynolds complaining about the perils of the job guarding his highly volatile boss, stating that Jackson, “single-handedly ruined the word ‘mother-f*cker’,” which is perhaps a wink to Jackson’s frequently played on-screen personas. Plus, frustration between the two lead characters genuinely seems like good writing.

Here’s the official synopsis:

The world’s top protection agent [Reynolds] is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world’s most notorious hitmen [Samuel L. Jackson]. The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator [Gary Oldman] who is out for blood. Salma Hayek joins the mayhem as Jackson’s equally notorious wife. 

If this plays anything like the two aforementioned bodyguard films, it should stand to do pretty well on a critical and commercial basis (BEYOND THE LIGHTS earned high critical regards, whereas THE BODYGUARD’s worldwide gross was $411,006,740). All I know is I’m in for all their bombastic, absurd, hijinks-laden shenanigans.

THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD opens on (my birthday, THANK YOU) August 18.

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Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, 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.

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