Sunday, August 27, 2017
"HITMAN" ON TARGET
Loads of action and laughs galore make this buddy movie a hit.
Ryan Reynolds plays a bodyguard--formerly triple-A rated, actually--protecting Samuel L. Jackson as a hitman whose testimony in international court could convict a foreign leader (excellently played by Gary Oldman).
Fans of the stars will not be surprised to find that neither breaks casting type. Jackson and Reynolds both excel at action and humor, so the casting is dead-on.
Vaguely in the spirit of 48 Hours, which pairs Nick Nolte with Eddie Murphy, The Hitman's Bodyguard benefits from "chemistry" between the leads and a fast pace required by a time constraint: Reynolds must escort Jackson to The Netherlands within 24 hours. Meanwhile, the foreign leader has hitmen of his own trying to eliminate Jackson.
Further meanwhile, each of the stars is in love with a woman, and they tend to talk about their relationships during car chases and gunfights.
Much of Reynolds' character has a Deadpool-ishness, to be certain. For those out of the loop, Reynolds also plays an offbeat Marvel superhero with a biting satirical wit. His dead-pan delivery works so well as that character, carrying on the tradition here satisfies our appetite for more.
But Deadpool without Spandex, Hitman's Bodyguard ain't.
Want to hear Salma Hayek rip loose a torrent of profanity almost every time she speaks? This is the movie for that. As Jackson's wrongly incarcerated girlfriend, Hayek cusses up a proverbial storm. We're not sure if she has Turret's Syndrome, but we can tell that she's violent and good-looking, so her we like just fine.
Lots of European car chases, beautiful countryside, and explosions. Plus a triple-A rated soundtrack, even featuring one of Chuck Berry's many best songs.
The irony--or hypocrisy, depending on how you look at it--is that we're supposed to despise the Gary Oldman character for his cold-bloodedness and applaud the concept of Due Process of law...while at the same time enjoying watching person after person get shot to death.
But these are mere triflings in the unmasked face of abundant chuckles.
Stewart Kirby writes for