The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a sequel to 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard and once again pairs up Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) – a bodyguard without his coveted AAA license- with Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) – an infamous and dangerous hitman – on a mission to prevent a terror attack on all of Europe. Only this time around, Darius’ ultra violent and easily angered wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) is part of the team. With ridiculous over-the-top action, an even sillier story than the first film, and Salma Hayek leading the violently comedic charge, this ended up being exactly my type of movie.
Former AAA-rated bodyguard Michael Bryce is at a personal and professional low. Struggling to deal with his suspension, he’s convinced by his therapist to go on sabbatical. This means no bodyguarding and no lethal weapons. But not long into what is supposed to be a relaxing holiday, he finds himself surrounded by unexpected, bloody carnage and is convinced by Sonia Kincaid to help her rescue her husband Darius, who was kidnapped during their honeymoon.
But if that wasn’t bad enough, all three are captured by Interpol and forced to work together in order to help the authorities stop the villainous Aristotle Papadopoulos (Antonio Banderas) from unleashing a devastating cyberweapon that will destroy the European power grid and its infrastructure. Given Sonia is determined to salvage her honeymoon and become pregnant on this crazy European adventure, both the good and bad guys are about to get more than they bargained for when our three heroes(?) embark on this mission to save Europe.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard takes the style and “substance” of the first film and cranks it up a few notches. In addition to having more over-the-top action and a more ridiculous story, the acting is pushed to even more exaggerated and outrageous levels.
Particularly with Salma Hayek, who steals the show from Rynolds and Jackson. Hayek is wild, violent, and out of control portraying the wife of one of the world’s most dangerous hitmen. Building on her character first introduced in the original film but limited to a jail cell, Hayek is on the loose in the sequel and shows she can kick just as much ass – if not more – than her two male co-stars. After watching this movie you’ll learn she’s the one you should be afraid of.
Hayek perfectly channels the unbridled passion of Sonia as she deals with the issue of having her honeymoon interrupted by players on both sides of the law. Determined to start a family and have a honeymoon full of romantic gestures and baby-making, she will destroy whoever gets in her way of becoming a mother. After all, she has so much love and nurturing to give…once you get past her murderous outbursts.
Samuel L. Jackson seamlessly slips back into this role playing Hayek’s romantic counterpart Darius Kincaid. However this time the tables have been turned. In the first film, Darius was the one giving relationship advice to his bodyguard struggling with love. Now he’s the one with relationship problems with a wife who’s angry that their honeymoon got hijacked and angry that she still isn’t pregnant. Jackson isn’t going to win any awards for this role because let’s face it – Samuel L. Jackson is Samuel L. Jackson in just about every film he’s in – but he nonetheless gives a comically violent performance of a tough man having fertilization issues while trying to save Europe and deal with that annoying, goody-two-shoes bodyguard again.
Likewise, Ryan Reynolds easily slips back into a role where he isn’t going to win any acting accolades because let’s face it – Ryan Reynolds is Ryan Reynolds in just about every film he’s in too. But like many other movies he’s in, he’s perfectly cast for the role of Michael Bryce so it doesn’t matter. His character perfectly compliments the other two violent criminals in his team and, coupled with Reynolds’ way of delivering witty lines and the fact his character is all about safety, preparation and not using lethal methods of combat, it makes the perfect recipe for action comedy gold as he is at constant odds with his other two colleagues.
Director Patrick Hughes (The Hitman’s Bodyguard, The Expendables 3) has made a superior popcorn sequel, taking elements that worked in the first film and really built on them. By having the relationship woes between Sonia and Darius be one of the primary motivations for our heroes, it gives these ridiculous characters in a ridiculous plot a more interesting and energized story because their realistic human drives are relatable to the audience.
This is something that was lacking in the first film because Michael Bryce’s relationship problems with Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) were more of an afterthought. His character just bitched about losing his AAA license and his lavish lifestyle. Who cares? Even his reasons for their break up is unique to his situation. But wanting to start a family, having the perfect honeymoon, worrying if you’re going to be a good parent, fertility obstacles, wanting to make your parents proud – these are all things normal people can relate to and/or understand.
Bringing these human needs to the forefront and embedded amongst better action choreography and improved CGI (which was pretty woeful in the original) make this a far superior and far more enjoyable movie than the original.
While it runs a little long, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a great popcorn flick overall. With more relatable characters, improved production values, and a more interesting story, I enjoyed this film much more than the first. If you’re looking for some serious drama or a shred of believability then you need to move along because you won’t find that here. But if you love flicks with violent, over-the-top with action, Ryan Reynolds-style comedy and Samuel L. Jackson saying motherF%$&er every few lines while kicking ass with Salma Hayek, then give this one a look.