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Featured Blu-ray and DVD Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard

November 19th, 2017

The Hitman’s Bodyguard - Buy from Amazon: DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 4k Ultra HD Combo Pack
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The Hitman’s Bodyguard

The Hitman’s Bodyguard held onto first place for three weeks in a row, and earned just over $75 million domestically on a $30 million budget. Granted, it opened in the middle of the worst box office slump we’ve seen in years, so there was no competition to deal with. Is that the only reason the film did well at the box office? Or is it worth checking out?

The Movie

We first meet Michael Bryce, the titular bodyguard, or Executive Protection Agent, as he calls himself, when he’s preparing for a job, leading a team of at least a dozen men protecting an Japanese arms dealer named Kurosawa, before his flight. The job goes very smoothly; it’s almost boring. However, as Michael says, “Boring is always best.” Just as the plane is about to taxi to the runway, a shot hits Kurosawa and he is killed immediately. It’s the worst thing that can happen to a bodyguard. Flash forward two years and Michael is at a low point. He lost his job and his team. He’s no longer protecting high value targets, but as he puts it later on, a midlevel coked-out attorney. He’s still great at his job, he just doesn’t have the prestige or the money he used to have.

Meanwhile, at the trial of Vladislav Dukhovich, former dictator of Belarus, the testimony from the latest witness is struck from the record, as there is no physical evidence to corroborate this testimony. This is just the latest set-back for the prosecution, so they are getting desperate, so desperate that they are willing to work with Darius Kincaid, a notorious hitman. They are offering to pardon his wife, Sonia, and give him a letter of recommendation, which means he will die in prison. Kincaid’s lawyer refuses such a deal, but before she can even offer a counter-offer, Kincaid signs. All he cares about is his wife being set free.

However, in order for Kincaid to testify, he will have to get from England to The Hague in just a few hours. His security is led by Amelia Ryder and Garrett. Kincaid thinks he would be safer on his own with a couple of guns. When Dukhovich’s men attack, he proves he was right, as he and Amelia are the only survivors. They head to a nearby Interpol safe house to regroup. They know the only way Dukhovich could have known their route was if there was a mole, so they need outside help. Fortunately Amelia knows someone who is perfect for a job like this, her ex-boyfriend, Michael.

Good news, Michael doesn’t have a more important client to worry about. Bad news, Michael blames Amelia for what happened to Kurosawa. He told her his client’s name, which is the first time he’d ever done that, and his client died. Even worse news, Kincaid has tried to kill Michael 27 times throughout their career, 28 times after Michael gets to the safe house.

The pair hate each other, but they both understand that working together is the only way to get to the Hague in one piece and end Dukhovich’s reign.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard earned weak reviews, so I wasn’t expecting much. And yes, it is flawed in a number of ways. Every extended action scene, except maybe the first one, is overlong and this hurts the film’s pace and energy. The film is nearly two-hours long, but it could have used a few cuts during the boat chase specifically to help maintain a higher energy level. There are also a few jokes that land with a thud. For example, Michael tells Kincaid he’s there to keep him out of harm’s way, Kincaid responds with “I am harms way.” I was sure Michael was going to respond in a way that showed the filmmakers knew how cheesy that line is. There was no such response, so I have to assume the filmmakers thought that was a serious line. Additionally, while Salma Hayek is great in the movie, Sonia Kincaid is a Latina stereotype.

That said, the film did beat expectations and I was entertained. The chemistry between Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson is a real asset and the main reason the film succeeds. The film is as much a buddy comedy as it is an action film and if the two leads were unable to play off of each other as effortless as they do, then this film would have been a serious slog to get through. Additionally, Salma Hayek is great as Sonia Kincaid; the character might be little more than a stereotype, but she has one of the best performances in the film and has one of the best action scenes as well. Amelia Ryder is a much less showy role, but she and Ryan Reynolds have good chemistry and like every other member of the main quarter, handles herself well in the action scenes.

Overall, The Hitman’s Bodyguard isn’t a film that aims to be anything more than entertaining, but in the end, I was entertained. I’ve watch the movie three times for this review and I will very likely watch it again with friends before too long.

The Extras

Extras begin with a director’s commentary track. Up next are six minutes of outtakes. There are also ten deleted / extended / alternate scenes with a total running time of 12 minutes. The Hitman’s Bodyguard: A Love Story is a nine-minute featurette on the “bromance” between Darius Kincaid and Michael Bryce. Hitman vs. Bodyguard is a four-minute montage featurette that compares the styles of the two leading characters. Dangerous Women is an eight-minute look at Amelia Ryder and Sonia Kincaid and their roles within the movie. Finally, there’s Big Action in a Big World, an eight-minute look at the action scenes.

Overall, that’s the usual package of extras with a total running time of over 40 minutes. That’s enough to warrant a purchase.

The Verdict

The Hitman’s Bodyguard turned out to be much better than I anticipated. It does still have flaws and it could use another round of editing to pick up the pace, but overall, I was entertained. The extras on the DVD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or 4k Ultra HD Combo Pack include all of the usual features and the overall package is a solid purchase.

Filed under: Video Review, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Richard E. Grant, Salma Hayek, Ryan Reynolds, Elodie Yung, Sam Hazeldine, Rod Hallett, Tsuwayuki Saotome, Kirsty Mitchell
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