"Sworn Enemies Team Up in Foul-Mouthed, Violent, Comedy"
In THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD, jailed hitman, Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), is offered a plea deal from by the international police agency, Interpol, in exchange for incriminating testimony against the genocidal dictator, Vladislav Dukovich. Also, Kincaid’s wife, a bad apple in her own right, will be released from Dutch prison. Kincaid agrees to the deal, but scoffs at Interpol’s inadequate protection for what will be a sure assassination attempt by Dukovich’s men on their way to the International Criminal Court in Hague. Sure enough, his prediction comes true, as all but one of his Interpol escorts are killed in route.
The lead Interpol agent, Amelia, survives the attack, and the wounded Kincaid has no choice but to remain in her custody. They quickly discover that Dukovich has a mole in Interpol reporting their every move. With the agency compromised, Amelia calls an outsider and ex-boyfriend, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), who was once a triple-A bodyguard for the world’s biggest power players. He’s since lost that status after one such client took a bullet to the head and now spends his days living out of his van, playing bodyguard to overly paranoid executives. Believing that she wanted him out of Interpol’s way, he blames Amelia for his loss of triple-A status.
Despite his reluctance to help her, he comes to her aid in London since secretly still loves her. However, he immediately regrets his decision when he discovers it’s Kincaid that he’s to protect. The two have a history of being rivals, and Bryce explains to Amelia that Kincaid has tried to kill him 28 times. Love for their respective women tempers the hate they have for each other, but only barely. They have two days to make the court deadline in Hague, or Dukovich goes free, and Kincaid’s wife stays behind bars. With both Interpol and Dukovich’s men out to get them, Bryce and Kincaid are forced to put aside their differences (and there are plenty), just to stay alive.
THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD is a strange blend of action, comedy and romance. It’s clear from the first scene that this is a movie which won’t take itself too seriously. There is a fine line between tragedy and comedy, and this movie crosses it repeatedly. It takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to death and romance, using awkwardly placed flashbacks to fill in the holes of the characters’ backstories. While the subplot of Kincaid’s wife is essential to the overall story, the romantic bits feel forced into an already crowded two hours. There’s a classy James Bond undertone in Bryce’s character which clashes violently at times with Kincaid’s irreverent style, and that’s where much of the comedy is derived.
While THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD is inherently a violent, foul-mouthed movie, it has a surprisingly moral worldview. In fact, it attributes this worldview in part to the Bible. A couple of scenes take a break from all the action to ponder about what the Bible says regarding revenge. Kincaid argues “Who is more evil? He who kills [insert expletive for bad guys], or he who protects them?” He falsely uses the murder of his father, who was a preacher, as an excuse to carry out justice himself. Bryce weighs the consequences of exacting revenge, and responds, “I don’t decide who lives or dies,” implying that is for God to decide. Other Christian elements pop up with a van full of nuns, who Kincaid quickly embraces by joining in one of their praise songs.
However, the vast majority of the movie centers around gory killings, even allowing the camera lens to be splattered with blood for full effect. Regardless of Kincaid’s religious past, he doesn’t hesitate to spew a string of obscenities, sometimes racking up a dozen f-bombs in the space of 30 seconds. Bryce isn’t guarded in his language either.
There is an element of internationalism overriding the sovereignty of individuals or nations. The movie celebrates the international police force and international criminal court as positive things, even though the characters ridicule them as ineffective at times.
Overall, good vs. evil is the main focus of the movie, and it creates some grey areas where an argument could be made for both sides. Unfortunately, the negative elements make THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD an excessive movie.
(BB, C, Ab, Ac, II, LLL, VVV, S, N, A, D, MM) Overall moral worldview where evil is punished and good wins, characters ask for forgiveness, characters are willing to give their lives for each other, the Bible is referenced in several scenes, some characters imply they believe in God and/or the Bible, though the Bible is misused to justify one hitman’s killings; one scene involves a preacher and his church, two scenes have Catholic nuns featured, a Christian song/hymn is sung in one scene, with strong anti-Communist sentiment throughout the movie as it deals with the criminal trial of a savage dictator, and there is an international police agency and an international criminal court prominently featured throughout the movie, the international organizations override the will of individual nations or people regardless if it is unjust; total of 9 profanities and 131 obscenities, slang terms are used for male and female genitalia, derogatory term is used referring to a woman, a man pees into a bottle in the car, though it is only heard and not shown, a man is heard peeing on the side of the road; a man is shot in the head by a sniper, a dictator executes a man’s wife and child in front of him, many scenes feature gun fights with graphic deaths, many scenes feature hand combat with some graphic deaths, a man digs a bullet out of his leg and bleeds a lot, a man is stabbed in the hand with a pen, many scenes involve deadly car crashes, or people being hit by cars, cars are blown up or set on fire, a preacher is murdered, a helicopter is shot down and crashes, a man is tortured with electricity, some people are stabbed to death, a man is thrown through the windshield of a car; a woman’s cleavage is prominently focused on during one scene, and a few scenes briefly show prostitutes or strippers in their underwear; sex between unmarried partners is implied, sexual acts are referenced; a bar is shown in some scenes with people drinking, one character drinks from a flask in a few scenes, one scene implies a character is a drug addict and mentions illegal drugs; and, a character decides to ignore the Bible’s teaching about revenge and bring criminals to justice himself by murdering them, a woman verbally abuses her husband, a female prisoner bullies her cellmate, some characters lie to each other, a racist comment is made, and a dictator commits genocide and argues that it is just.
In THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD, a jailed hitman, Darius Kincaid, is given a plea deal to get his wife out of prison in exchange for testimony at the International Criminal Court against a brutal dictator. He agrees, but the dictator’s men attempt to assassinate Kincaid on the way to the trial. The agent in charge of protecting Kincaid has no choice but to turn Kincaid over to former triple-A bodyguard and former boyfriend, Michael Bryce. Bryce and Kincaid hate each other, having been rivals, and insist that they don't need each other. However, they discover that they're not as self-sufficient as believed.
THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD is an awkward blend of action, comedy and romance that doesn't take itself too seriously. It does take seriously chase scenes, violence and foul language, sparing no expense or opportunity to throw in the "F" word (often accompanied by an addendum expletive). Ironically, it takes a couple of breaks to have a philosophical discussion about biblical morality in a surprisingly respectful way. It doesn't last long though. Unfortunately, the negative elements make THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD an excessive movie.