“Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” stars Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Frank Grillo, Richard E. Grant, Antonio Banderas, and Morgan Freeman. Released on June 16, 2021, the film has Michael Bryce teaming up with Darius Kincaid’s wife to save her husband and the world.
The film is directed by Patrick Hughes, who also directed “Signs”, “Red Hill”, and “The Expendables 3”, and it is a sequel to the 2017 action-comedy, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”, which was also directed by Hughes. Do you think protecting an assassin was a pain? Wait until you try protecting his tough-as-nails spouse. This year’s explosive summer movie season continues to bounce back with a sequel to a modestly successful action-comedy that united Deadpool with Nick Fury. A Marvel movie without the involvement of Marvel. I thought “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” was a fun late-summer treat that featured great chemistry between the main actors, some decent action, and good laughs. So it’s no surprise that I was looking forward to its follow-up. This sequel may seem like a cash grab for those who weren’t fond of its predecessor, but it does appear that it has the same qualities needed to satisfy some of the original’s fans. The question is, are they enough to justify its existence?
The film takes place after the events of “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”. Michael Bryce (Reynolds) struggles to move on after protecting notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Jackson). To help him cope with this event, he goes on a company-mandated sabbatical, which allows him to relax without using lethal weaponry. His day of relaxation abruptly ends when Darius’s wife, Sonia (Hayek), pulls him back into action to rescue her husband. After doing so, Michael, Sonia, and Darius are then tasked by Interpol to locate Aristotle Papadopolous (Banderas), a terrorist tycoon who plans to use a power drill to destroy the European power grid. The trio will have to join forces once again to guard the world while surviving each other. Action comedy sequels tend to provide the same strengths as their predecessors while going all out with their plot. The strategy doesn’t always work well for everyone, especially people who aren’t fans of the originals, but they sometimes compensate with their sense of fun and humor. “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” is one of those sequels. While a step down from its predecessor in terms of its plot, the sequel offered enough laughs and chemistry in its cast to deliver a watchable follow-up for those who enjoyed Bryce’s first insufferable bodyguard duty. You can quickly tell that it’s more strictly towards fans of “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” just by how it relies on action and adult language for laughs rather than tell an award-winning story. If you don’t like the original because of that, I can assure you that you might loathe this one even more. The story was about as corny and far-fetched as a B-rated spy movie, and the humor, despite some hilarious moments, had a sense of tediousness that’ll leave some viewers feeling like Michael Bryce: extremely annoyed. What do I mean by “tediousness”? How about spending 100 minutes listening to Salma Hayek’s Sonia cussing up a storm and plenty of yelling from the main characters? That would’ve made someone want to shoot themselves in the head. But despite its overuse of R-rated language and mindless action, did I have a good time watching the chaos unfold? That has always been the question I asked myself while experiencing a flawed film like this. It is whether or not I had fun with something as imperfect and halfwitted as the characters. In this case, the answer to that question is a “yes”. Sure, some of the moments were idiotic, the language was severely repetitive, and the plot was pretty formulaic. However, it had that kind of joy and energy that made its faulty brand of comedy work for me. I can admit that it won’t be for everyone, but it had enough laughs to satisfy those in need of some escapism this summer. Part of the comedy comes from the cast, which saw Reynolds, Jackson, and Hayek reprising their leading roles from the first film and some new faces joining this chaotic venture. Reynolds and Jackson continued to provide some amusing chemistry as Bryce and Darius, respectively. These two actors managed to retain the charm and humor that made their characters a joy to watch in the original despite their foul-mouthed attitudes. Plus, Jackson was more enjoyable here compared to his role in “Spiral”. Salma Hayek, who proved to be one of the best parts of “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”, is now front and center in the sequel. Her performance as Sonia was suitably enjoyable as she provided more shocks and laughs than ever before. Again, the only problem with her character was the excessive language, which can grow tiresome rather quickly. Antonio Banderas was okay in his role as Aristotle, the film’s new antagonist, and Frank Grillo was entertaining as Bobby O’Neill, an Interpol agent who recruits Michael, Darius, and Sonia. The action scenes in “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” were unsurprisingly delightful and absurd to watch, so if that’s what you’re expecting, then you’ll get your money’s worth. What kept them from being top-tier was the editing. Patrick Hughes can make certain scenes energetic and fun, especially the action ones, but sometimes he can get a bit too carried away with how some of them were edited. Some of those scenes were a bit choppy at times, while others weren’t. I guess I’m more into action scenes that were more focused and cleanly edited now, thanks to the “John Wick” films.
Overall, “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” is yet another average action sequel that offers more of the same, for better or worse. It took a few hits to the head by its dumb-downed storyline, uneven editing, and tedious adult humor. Despite that, the film managed to get the job done thanks to its cast, action scenes, and entertaining laughs. As someone who liked the first film, I had an enjoyable time watching it, even though it’s not as good as its predecessor. It’s one of those films that not only made me admit that they won’t impress everyone but also managed to meet my enjoyment expectations. If you like the first film, you would probably like this one as well. If not, then you should have no problem rejecting this job.