“The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” is loud, sluggish, profane and, well, inconsistent. It’s also quite funny at times, with a goofy vulgarity that made me laugh. There is no abode of wisdom from one end to the other; Instead, it was a garbage-to-max sequel. “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” (2017) Shamelessly lunges for the lizard brain. In the eyes of the American action comedy, we are all reptiles.
Four years after a traumatic encounter with assassin Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), once a triple-A-rated bodyguard, has lost his career and possibly his mind. His therapist suggests an Italian vacation and relaxation from guns and mayhem. Yet he barely takes her advice, packing only pepper spray and Chekhov’s pen knife (old habits die hard) when he is kidnapped by Darius’ wife, Sonia (Salma Hayek), Who is a sly, dishonest con artist.
So begins a plot so dashed and irrelevant that it’s barely noticeable, being nothing more than a framework for insane car chases, gun battles, explosions and a sky-high body count. Filming in Croatia, Italy, Britain and Slovenia, the returning director, Patrick Hughes, encourages his stars and stunt men to run the show. Immoderation rules in the form of a titular threesome race to stop a crazed Greek billionaire (a doomed Antonio Banderas) who plans to use Croatian hackers to tamper with the European power grid. Which is apparently located in the same hub in the depths of the ocean.
While the screenplay — by Tom O’Connor (who wrote the first film), Philip Murphy and Brandon Murphy — struggled to make sense, the cast retreated into their comfort zones. For Jackson, It Means He Gets So Quiet Sometimes almost careless; For Reynolds, whose character is more abused than a crash-test dummy, it’s meant to remind us that intelligence is the best weapon. Morgan Freeman appears in a role I won’t spoil, and poor Frank Grillo—apparently unaware he’s in a cartoon—plays a Boston cop-turned-Interpol agent with a wonderfully redundant seriousness. .
Hayek, thankfully, has no high extravagant delusions about Sonia, whose Chaucerian manner with cursing is only matched by her double-D libido and industrial-strength vocal cords. The performance is at once tedious and awe-inspiring, making Sonia’s desperate desire for a child one of the film’s more gruesome subplots. Still, I also listened to the beats of the next film, watching Sonia lament the depressing dimensions of her vagina. Any takers for “The Hitman’s Wife’s Surrogate’s Bodyguard”?
Hitman’s wife’s bodyguard
Rated R for ridiculous violence and dirty mouth. Running time: 1 hour 56 minutes. in Theaters.