‘Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’- Film Review: Mediocre and Unnecessary Sequel

What’s the Story: Recommended by his therapist, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) take some time off from bodyguarding after his last adventure with dangerous hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) causes him nightmares and the fact he’s still not fully licensed again after taking a bullet for him. But it cut his sabbatical in Capri very short when Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) finds Michael and asks for his help to rescue her husband from being kidnapped. That doesn’t go well afterward when Interpol needs their help to stop Aristotle Papadopoulos (Antonio Banderas) from destroying the European power grid by releasing a computer virus.

If the stupid title wasn’t too obvious, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is the sequel to 2017’s The Hitman Bodyguard, which is a movie I should’ve enjoyed based solely on the pairing of Reynolds and Jackson, but I honestly thought it was a massive letdown and I consider it one of my least favorite movies that year. But despite the mixed reviews, it didn’t do too bad at the box office for a late August release and they announced a sequel. The thought of a sequel coming out sounded very uninteresting to me, and a couple of trailers that were released didn’t change my mind. I didn’t carry any expectations when walking into the theater on opening day since I just wanted to get this out of the way and hope it can lean on being an improvement. And what do you know, it’s a contender for one of the worst movies of 2021 so far.

Not that I wanted this to be on the same level as something like Lethal Weapon 2, where that’s one of the coolest action-comedy sequels pretty close to beating the original, but as I was sitting through 100 minutes of this, all I was asking myself is who wanted this? Out of all the sequels still scheduled to come out this year, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard was never a second thought that I don’t know why it was a good sign for this to be pushed up for two months. 

One of the things I liked about the first movie was the chemistry between Reynolds’ Michael Bryce and Jackson’s Daris Kincaid as this very odd couple forced to stay together with getting one of them killed. I can easily say that carries over in this where I don’t get why they made them go back to hating each other when you kind of believe they have this sort of friendship at the end. These are the kinds of performances you’re going to expect when seeing Reynolds and Jackson in a film, for better or worse. All everyone is asking is for them to be in an entertaining movie together. Even adding Salma Hayek to join the adventure in a much bigger role doesn’t hurt, despite her character appearing obnoxious. But while you can tell the three actors must’ve had a great time filming and giving it their all to their performances, there wasn’t a part of me that honestly cared for these characters this time around. I mostly found them hallow and unlikable without them having a good moment to develop them better as it offers more banter between the three of them.

But from judging from the five people in my screening, including me, it’s a problem when only one person chuckled twice. I couldn’t believe how unfunny the movie was when a lot of the jokes were predictable or were just mean-spirited. Most of Jackson’s lines can be just him saying, “Motherf—er” that’s enough to make it its own drinking game, and the running gag of Reynolds being the butt of getting hit or run over got tired quickly. And those moments where it wanted to provide some emotions for a character get overshadowed by a laugh that doesn’t work. I only laughed once in the first movie; there was probably a quick smirk in here in the first five minutes, and that just shows how awful the writing is and how much this emphasizes bad humor over action. Speaking of which, there’s nothing in here to pump some kind of adrenaline because these were some weak action sequences that were poorly filmed and didn’t feel right when watching.

Most of the action comprises car chases, bloody shootouts, and some bad CGI that took me out completely, wondering if most of the locations just took place on a green screen, and they’re the most standard action sequences to come by. Something was totally off about the editing throughout because it was so fast-paced, and as someone who doesn’t mind it that much, it was like someone did a line of cocaine and scrambled to put this together with the characters going from one location to the other every five minutes without giving the amount of time to take a breath after underwhelming action sequences. I didn’t know what was going on, honestly.

Patrick Hughes is back to direct it following the first, but I don’t understand why they could’ve brought someone else to do two things: 1) Handle the action better; and 2) Be able to make this worth my attention. He failed to do both, unfortunately, because the storyline this time is one of the basic and predictable plots to come from an action movie that offers barebones stakes. But not only do you feel bad for the lead actors, everybody else in this makes you feel sorry for them. Was it cool to know Antonio Banderas would play the movie’s antagonist? Well, who doesn’t love him? But this is the second time in a row where you have a talented actor playing the villain and don’t have the effort to find how menacing or over-the-top he is since his master plan is Bond-level stupid. There were even times where I forgot Banderas was in this, which is a shame. This even gives us a Desperado reunion between him and Hayek, which made me want to watch that instead. Frank Grillo doesn’t even get his hands dirty when he’s just a boring Interpol agent who wants to re-locate back to Boston. People, you don’t waste a guy like Grillo and not have him be entertaining. And I didn’t know why they brought in Morgan Freeman since I assumed he would be in one scene based on his appearance on the poster, but that’s not the case, though it could’ve been somebody else entirely of who his character ends up being.

You know it’s going to be a time bad when you forget what just happened ten minutes ago, along with it almost fading from your memory when you leave the theater, trying to think of anything remotely positive to say. Now when I think about Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, not only will I think it’s terrible, all I will ever think about is being tired. It became so uninteresting to what was happening on-screen; I was just thinking about what movies I’ve planned to watch for the rest of the week. After it ended, please don’t let this be an excuse to make a third movie because haven’t we had enough.

Final Thoughts: As someone who didn’t like the first movie, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is an action-comedy sequel that failed to capitalize in both departments, making this worse than its predecessor. Providing tired material for our three leads to work off of and feeling like a mess all over, the results are mediocre at best. There’s no need to go out to the theater unless you’re one of the few who actually like what you saw before and will mostly like have a good time with this.

Grade: D

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