Cert – 15, Run-time – 1 hour 40 minutes, Director – Patrick Hughes
Bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is taken out of a peaceful break from work where he’s paired with con artist Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) and her husband, former client, Darius (Samuel L. Jackson) to take down a Greek billionaire (Antonio Banderas) planning to take down Europe.
As Ryan Reynolds’ Michael Bryce sits peacefully reading a book on a sun lounger in a sunny resort it’s evident that the character is having a nice time. In fact throughout Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard it seems as if the whole cast, particularly the central trio of Reynolds, Salma Hayek and Samuel L. Jackson, are all having a great time in the Italian settings of the feature. It comes across in their performances and the comedy of the film, a lot of which feels heavily improvised. Perhaps this explains why, once again, the central cast appear to be playing caricatures of the stereotypical characters they appear to have become associated with. Reynolds makes the occasional wisecrack or becomes the butt of his own joke, Jackson shouts out a two word phrase beginning with m and f that isn’t melon farmer and Hayek bursts out in anger before a joke is made about her breasts.
It’s very much the formula that made up the first film, although in this instance with much more presence from Hayek. And one that’s likely to be just as forgettable. Reynolds’ character finds himself reteaming with Jackson’s hitman, and former client, Darius Kincaid alongside, his wife, con artist Sonia (Hayek). Throughout we see the three roaming through Italy after being recruited to help take down Greek billionaire Aristotle Papadopolous (Antonio Banderas) who plans to wipe out all of Europe’s electricity, putting hundreds of millions of lives at risk in the process, because of the lack of help Greece has received when it comes to their struggling economy. It feels as if a lot of content with Banderas has been cut out of the film in favour of chaotic action sequences, backed by very on-the-nose musical cues, and attempted comedic beats with the three protagonists. There are plenty of moments where you begin to forget about Banderas, or what the mission the characters are even on is.
The way the plot’s treated very much feels as if it’s been taken from the 2000’s, outdated and lacking in any overall engaging style. It’s not as if it feels as if the hearts of those involved aren’t in the project, and unlike the first feature this doesn’t feel as an in-between Deadpool project for Reynolds. It just feels as if many of the ideas, and indeed characters, have been seen so many times before that the film as a whole is too hard to engage with to make it anything enjoyable or worth watching. The comedy falls flat and the action bursts that appear throughout simply feel too chaotic, with too many cuts or too much movement of the camera meaning there’s no focus to properly follow during such moments.
It matches the feeling of the overall narrative of Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. One that lacks focus and feels too lacking to be able to properly follow. You simply find yourself watching the cast having a great time in largely sunny Italian landscapes. “Boring is always best” is a line said early on in the film, unfortunately this isn’t the case for those watching this sequel, the original film itself wasn’t best, while it’s on. At least afterwards this allows the film to be easily forgettable wants it’s over, even if it feels like it takes quite a while to get through the clichés and seemingly heavily improvised caricatures to reach that point.
The cast of Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard all appear to be having a great time throughout the film, unfortunately this leads to it feeling largely improvised and lacking in both laughs and detail within the rather loose narrative.