Check both your brain and your sensibility at the door should you decide to watch the sequel to the 2017 film, THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD. HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD (the THE is missing for some unexplained reason) makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and is purely an exercise in hearing how much profanity can come out of Samuel L. Jackson’s mouth and seeing how much cleavage Salma Hayek has (as if we didn’t already know). Oh, there’s also Ryan Reynolds doing his typical deadpan, put-upon shtick.
Set sometime after the show trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague that saw former AAA-rated executive bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds, the DEADPOOL films; LIFE) take a bullet for hitman Darius Kincaid (Jackson, SPIRAL; the MCU franchise, GLASS; LIFE ITSELF; KONG: SKULL ISLAND; THE LEGEND OF TARZAN; THE HATEFUL EIGHT), HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD opens with Bryce on a psychiatrist’s couch back in London. He’s still without a license and now he’s having haunting dreams that include Kincaid. At his shrink’s suggestion, he goes on sabbatical to Capri where he can reassess his future that doesn’t include being a bodyguard. No sooner does Bryce start to chill then all hell breaks loose around him thanks to Kincaid’s loose cannon of a wife, Sonia (Hayek, TV’s 30 ROCK). She tells Bryce that Darius was kidnapped by the Mafia who just happen to be located nearby and that Darius said that if anything should happen to him, she should reach out to his frenemy, Bryce. Meanwhile, the EU has imposed economic sanctions on Greece due to come into effect in four days’ time. Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Papadopoulos (Antonio Banderas, DOLITTLE; PAIN AND GLORY; LIFE ITSELF; THE 33) is not going to take the sanctions lying down though. He plans to destroy Europe’s power grid and infrastructure, and return Greek to its historical glory. After a major electrical outage shutting down part of Zagreb and killing dozens of people in the process, Interpol agent Bobby O’Neill (Frank Grillo, the MCU franchise) recruits Bryce and the Kincaids to find out who is behind the mayhem and stop any further destruction. Yeah, smart move.
From the get go, HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD is a muddled mess. If Greece’s economy is in shambles, why would the EU impose economic sanctions on it? Wouldn’t that make the situation worse? How would destroying Europe’s power infrastructure help Greece? Doesn’t Papadopoulos know that the world is interconnected and what affects Europe also affects Greece? Is Greece in a position to start manufacturing cars, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, dairy products and more overnight? Why was Kincaid kidnapped? What did the mob want to do with him once they had him? If they were just going to kill him, why didn’t they do it right away. However, if they wanted to ransom him, what were they waiting for? Why is O’Neill, a cop from Boston (who has a New York accent, by the way), working for Interpol and why does he want to get back home so soon when he’s only been with the organisation for a month? Then there’s a gigantic question mark that comes when Morgan Freeman’s character is introduced late in the story.
Perhaps to make up for the lack of coherence, director Patrick Hughes ratchets up the cray-cray to 11 with our three main characters constantly bickering with each other as they bounce around central Italy surviving frenetic car chases, wild gunfights and fiery explosions. Unfortunately, Hughes relies heavily on shaky camerawork to substitute for poor staging, leaving audiences struggling to follow the action. Whenever there’s a lull though, audiences are treated to some very vulgar language, most of it coming from Hayek. For Jackson, if he got paid by how many F-bombs he could drop, he made a fortune.
As mediocre as the original was, HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD is infinitely worse. It’s absolute garbage. If there’s any justice in the world, there won’t be another sequel.
HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD opened yesterday (June 17) here in Hong Kong and opens elsewhere around the world this weekend. You’ve been warned!
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