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MOVIE REVIEW: "The Hitman's Bodyguard"

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Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson star in "The Hitman's Bodyguard."
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Comedies, above all, should be funny. A good plot doesn’t necessarily drive great comedies — characters and laughs do. If you are even slightly invested in the characters and they got a few zingers that can make you laugh, it’s a success. At the (inappropriate) age of nine, an edited tv-ripped copy of Kevin Smith’s debut film Clerks built my sensibility involving humor in my life that continues on to this day. The plot is as thin as its 27-thousand-dollar budget, but it helped craft Miramax in the 90s and subsequent indie comedies because it took risks with its content and creation. This is a rare feat in comedy as studios can push out films with the same beats, but with updated pop culture references and keep winning at the box office.

Comedies this year have gone from indie-darlings (The Big Sick, Free Fire, Colossal) to mainstream ensemble pieces like Rough Night and Girls Trip. Chucklefests are a-plenty this year for both sides of the audience and I’ve enjoyed all of the aforementioned films (besides Girls Trip as I haven’t seen it yet). The Hitman’s Bodyguard doesn’t belong in either field. It doesn’t belong at all.

The Expendables 3’s director helms the worst film I’ve seen in 2017 that isn’t named Song to Song. It’s not “so bad it’s hilarious,” it’s trying really hard to come across as enjoyable, but fails extraordinarily. Almost all the films I haven’t enjoyed this year, I can usually find some reason to keep going and finish it. This film had nothing to offer. It offended me with how stupid it treats its audience to believe that haven’t seen this same film thirty times in the past year already.

Ryan Reynolds (remember when he just embraced his blowhard asshole personality in Van Wilder and Waiting… instead of being an uncharismatic and unlikely action star?) is a special triple A bodyguard for high profile people of interest. After a man was killed in his custody two years prior, he lost his Interpol girlfriend (Elodie Yung) over misunderstandings over the assassination. Their paths cross again when she helps breaks out one of the world’s most notorious hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson) and hits up Reynolds to help escort him to testify against a crooked dictator (Gary Oldman). But guys! They have disagreements because SLJ is Reynolds’ mortal enemy because he tries to kill all of the assignments! Such an odd couple! Riggs and Murtaugh would be proud.

I don’t see a movie this year being as enthusiastic of how boringly dull and pointless as The Hitman’s Bodyguard is. Nothing lands at all. Every bit of action screams first-year Adobe After Effects with the execution and special effects. There are even scenes that rival the shaky cam action scenes in Alex Cross and Tak3n on their mediocrity.

Its screenwriter has only written one script prior and the script for The Hitman’s Bodyguard was originally a drama but got rewritten to include jokes within two weeks before filming began. And it shows. Its source of comedy comes from Reynolds and Jackson screaming curse words at each other for two hours or the most obvious set-ups for jokes (a painful example was Jackson describing his criminally dependent wife played by Salem Hayek and Reynolds replies with, “where’d you meet her? Christian Mingle?”).

It’s an R-rated film for 12-year-olds (think Deadpool but being even lazier in its comedic writing) because almost every joke is SLJ saying “motherfucker” or Reynolds screaming at him for being so unstable. It’s the easiest form of comedy. Pausing for a comedic joke after an action stunt, an overuse of cursing and similes, it felt like a two-hour dive into Dane Cook’s joke book.

Rarely will I tell someone in a film to quit their job because even though I didn’t crack a smile once in this film’s two-hour runtime, everyone around me thought it was peak comedy, but let’s discuss how atrocious this film looks. Any scene that had any natural light whether it was outside or light beaming from a nearby window, the white balance would leak over onto the characters. The cinematographer needs to be put on probation or just try to aspire to tackle another field of work because this is inexcusable.

It's a film so rudimentary and elementarily written that I thought Rob Zombie had an unlisted writing credit. I hated it and I don’t want to talk about it ever again. I guess they all can’t be as fun as Wish Upon, unfortunately. 

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About the Author

Kevin Tudor

Born and raised in the mean streets of Yukon, Oklahoma, Kevin is currently majoring in...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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