Swanner: Ryan Reynolds stars as Michael Bryce, an international bodyguard who has been forced to protect Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), a notorious hit-man who has agreed to testify against Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman,) a brutal eastern European dictator. Bryce needs to transport Kincaid from England to Amsterdam with every bad guy in Europe trying to stop them from completing their trip. With all that being said, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a comedy and a very funny one at that.
Director Patrick Hughes delivers a film that may offer a very big dramatic storyline but is filled with big laughs and action galore. I also enjoyed Tom O’Connor’s script, which comes to life thanks to the great chemistry of the two leads. Some people will probably look at the film as being unrealistic with it’s huge body count and snappy comebacks, but they do need to remember, it’s an action comedy. It’s suppose to be big and silly. I use this term a lot but this is a popcorn movie. It’s a well made popcorn movie.
I’ve always been a fan of Jackson and Reynolds in their comedy work. Jackson’s Django Unchained and Kingsman character show not only how versatile he is, but his brilliance. Whether a good guy or a bad guy, he’ll make you laugh. Give him a role and he’ll run with it. Ryan Reynolds, on the other hand, usually plays the handsome leading man. In Deadpool he proved he’s not just another pretty face. Salma Hayek, who plays Jackson’s wife, is also noteworthy. She gives terrific performance that reminds me of Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny, and we know where that lead. If the trailer made you laugh then you’re in for a good time.
Swanner: 3 stars
Swanner and Judd talk about So You Think You Can Dance; Big Brother; The Fosters; Blood Drive; Difficult People; Sam Kinison; Ari Schaffer; Annabelle: Creation.
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Swanner: Halle Berry plays Karla Dyson, a mother who witnesses her son’s abduction and continues the follow the kidnappers as they drive away with her child. I will warn you that the preview is one big spoiler. Every twist and surprise is in the trailer and, frankly, I was glad I didn’t watch it before I saw the film. The only thing that kept my interest was seeing if I could keep second guessing what was going to happen next. It doesn’t take a genius when everything is this predictable.
The film’s script is one big cliche. Halle’s character is a single mother, working as a waitress, who is trying to keep custody of her son from her ex-husband. At the time her son is kidnapped she is on the phone with her lawyer who is telling her that her ex-husband wants to have full custody just as her phone battery dies. As she looks for her son in the park where they were, she see a woman dragging her son to a car. As the car starts to drive away she grabs ahold of the car and is dragged around the parking lot. At that point, she drops her cell phone running to her car to follow the kidnappers. Most of the rest of the film has Berry following the kidnappers (white trash hillbillies), causing accidents up and down the freeways without either of the two cars ever getting pulled over. Maybe if she was texting someone, that might have gained the attention of the police.
The film is directed by Luis Prieto. I will admit, he kept my attention watching two cars aimlessly driving for most of an hour. It all felt like a TV movie, which is where Prieto got his start as a director. Screenwriter Knate Lee gives us a simple story with very little dialogue, not that when there is dialogue it’s any good. All the twists are obvious, and the ending is disappointing. After a while the film was so awful it became funny. Looking forward to the goofy reaction shots from Berry and the carnage of car wrecks they left behind. I will say that Berry tried really hard to make it work, but a weak script and a TV director left her with very little. Save your money and watch this one on TV where it belongs.
Swanner: No Stars