“The bodyguard, Michael Bryce, continues his friendship with assassin, Darius Kincaid, as they try to save Darius’ wife Sonia.”

Director: Patrick Hughes
Writers: Tom O’Connor, Phillip Murphy, Brandon Murphy
Staring: Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds
Release Date: June 16, 2021

Do you know or remember what happened in The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)? That’s okay, no one does.

Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard (2021) centers around three major characters. Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynold) is a once world renowned bodyguard but has placed himself on a non-killing and non-violent sabbatical to try and regather himself due to some unfortunate circumstances in his original adventure. Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) was Bryce’s mental torment last film, and he is back with his potty mouth and disastrously overconfident demeanor. However, this time around, Darius has a new wife, Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek).

The hi-jinx ensues when Sonia comes and finds Bryce on his vacation and says that her husband has been kidnapped and she needs his help to find him. There are guns a blazing and bodies flying, and that will continue for the remainder of the Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard. Bryce helps Sonia save Darius, all-be-it not conventionally. Now the trio is together, and now the two Kincaids alongside Bryce must navigate through their own misgivings with one another and a Greece madmen by the name of Aristotle Papdopolous (Antonio Banderas) who has a weapon that can screw all of Europe with some massive data tampering.

Is the plot important to Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard? Not particularly. The story is there for the characters to interact and for big action set pieces to take place.

The best part of Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard is the wife herself, Sonia Kincaid. Salma Hayek looks like she is having so much fucking fun with this part. I mean this in the best way possible, but it feels like she doesn’t give a flying anything in the way she acted this movie. There is no subtlety at all in any her lines or her actions. Hayek is just firing on all cylinders, whether it be the guns she possesses, the curses she is flinging or the never ending desire to make a family.

There are parts in this story where it plays on the classic Hulk-based mantra of “you don’t want to make them angry,” and when Sonia goes off the rails, nobody is safe. She is unhinged, and that is why she is the perfect foil and partner for Bryce and Darius, collectively

This is the second straight movie I have seen Samuel L. Jackson as a hitman. The Protégé (2021) had Jackson’s character a bit ill and under the weather, but here in Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard, he is alive and very much vibrant. The character of Darius is supposedly softened a bit by his relationship with Sonia, but deep down, he still loves the chaos. Jackson inserts his rather recognizable maniac laugh often enough to take you out of trying to understand the plot or the editing. Just laugh at the stupid and smile with the explosions and you can have a good time.

Ryan Reynolds is doing…Ryan Reynolds. I have typed this before, and I am typing it again right now. Reynolds is become, and may be a little too self aware. Three movies in 2021 and Reynolds played the same type of character: Red Notice (2021), Free Guy (2021) and now Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard. Bryce is a charismatic and funny guy who is looking for a new purpose in life while dealing with some friends who he may or may not be able to trust.

Reynolds has few very funny moments in Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard, but there are jokes that fall really flat. When he leaves Sonia and Darius after he was given Lithium…that whole sequence was cringe. It was made worse with a HORRENDOUS cut that just sees him back and talking with them after he had just climbed up a mountain.

The Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard was not made for awards. It was made for a lots of money. The first had a budget of 30 million but ended up making more than 150 million. The sequel had a budget of 70 million…and only just made over that in the gross world wide box office. Despite the added star power or Hayek, Morgan Freeman (Yes, he is in this!) and Banderas (who is really forgettable and wasted), the lack of excitement around this sequel does not make it likely that a third movie in the Bodyguard franchise.

What would the third Bodyguard movie? That is a great question. If it comes to pass, it is a guarantee that it will be a Netflix movie. And I am here to tell you today that you should check out Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard on HBO Max. Yes, I said it. I know it is crazy, but despite all the movies technical and story problems, it is still very entertaining. This is the type of movie that a bunch of my old high school friends would go to and have a great time for 90 minutes before going back to someone’s bonfire. It is a brisk, VERY BRISK, 90 minutes. The brevity and the sheer star power make it worthy of a background viewing.

I saw this. I would rather rewatch Hitman Wife’s Bodyguard than the higher profile Reynolds movies from this year that I mentioned before: Red Notice and Free Guy.

STANKO RATING: C+ (2.0/5 Stars)

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