Accompanied by a long title with multiple apostrophes, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a sequel to the 2017 action escapade that nobody asked for; it is a quickly paced, self-aware mess.
In 2017, The Hitman’s Bodyguard released, and it was not that good. Nevertheless, it had some entertainment value. It had a hidden snag that made the unpleasant ride a little bit enjoyable; the dynamic between Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson and the film’s excessiveness elevated it. There were a lot of problems with that film, but you found yourself somewhat enjoying it.
In this second instalment, bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) reunite for another dangerous mission. This time, they are joined by Darius’ wife, the infamous con artist Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek). While Bryce is still without a bodyguarding license, under scrutiny, and smothered to protect them both, they’re challenged by a devious and vengeful madman (Antonio Banderas) while being persecuted by other forces.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard has an excellent cast, and the actors look like they are having a blast, but they do not bring much to the table when it comes to the performances. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson do the same antics as they did in the previous film: Reynolds recycles his comedic style, and Jackson curses his way out and goes guns blazing on everybody. At times, their respective takes on the characters work but are too one-dimensional, and they lack the prowess they both know they can deliver.
The new additions to the sequel do not add much either. Antonio Banderas plays the antagonist with a smooth voice and suave demeanour, but the purpose of his character is not clear, and Morgan Freeman is just there to cash a check. The only one who seems to bring something interesting is Salma Hayek. One of the few reasons to give this action film a chance is her fun and overripe performance.
Although it is a mess, the film is at least self-aware. Even from the title alone, you can see that it is pulling jokes on itself. If there are more sequels, they will add even more apostrophes. In a flashback with Sonia and Aristotle (Banderas), the film laughs at the audience, featuring romcom shots, Banderas with a ridiculously long ponytail, and the breaking of a Gucci heel. Other examples are overly raunchy dialogue, a Mace Windu joke, slow-motion action sequences, and questionable song choices.
The film does not have a long runtime, which is good as it does not over-extend its welcome, but also bad, as it is too quickly paced for anything to make sense narratively. A film can get away with a small number of things by being self-aware, but not everything. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard still has a poor script, mediocre action set pieces, a crooked narrative, and in the background, a fun Salma Hayek performance.
At one point, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) hits someone with a bottle of Aviation Gin. This is the brand of gin owned by Reynolds in real life.