I don’t recall watching Samuel.L.Jackson kiss an actress on screen ever and when the end credits rolled for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, i think i realized why.He is not much of a kisser is simply why, though maybe its just lack of practice, on screen that is, or then again it could just be plain lack of chemistry between him and a jaded Salma Hayek.That was one of my only two takeaways from The Hitman’s Bodyguard which aspires to be an action comedy, but ends up with some success in the comedy department thanks to the lead pair and disappoints absolutely when it comes to the action scenes, which is where and why the movie let itself down, i think.
After escorting Denzel Washington to safety in 2012’s Safe House, Ryan Reynolds gets to play bodyguard to Samuel.L.Jackson’s hitman in this film which also has Gary Oldman playing an East European dictator sporting a look that, for some reason reminded me of his turn as Dracula in Coppola’s namesake 1992 movie.Was that a tribute by the director, considering Dracula’s east European origins?, I guess we’d never know.He doesn’t have much to do here though, apart from acting real mean like your average east European dictator is expected to .
Sam Jackson’s hitman is racing against a deadline and other hitmen with the Interpol looking on, to get to the ICJ in The Hague to depose as a witness against Oldman’s character and helping him out reluctantly is Reynolds, for the sake of nothing other than good old love.The only reason i could think of, for the makers to settle for this plot setting, brings me to my second takeaway.The Netherlands it seems, has a cash rebate and incentives programme for every movie shot on their soil and The Hitman’s Bodyguard benefited financially from this, the internet tells me. Interestingly,Dunkirk is one other movie which is said to have worked this incentive to its advantage.
The action sequences reminded me of Bollywood movies ranging from Kick to Shivaay, which were shot on location in east European countries with incentives and subsidies for filmmakers too.I couldn’t but help wondering if they used the same action crew as those Bollywood movies.Thats how mediocre the action was.Maybe the makers thought that they could save even more bucks and make up for it in the humor department.The film did draw a few laughs, thanks mostly to Samuel.L.Jackson but that keeps the movie afloat only barely.At the end of the day, its little more than another lost opportunity, considering the cast and the premise.