‘Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ Review: A Tired, Lazy Sequel

Ever see a film is getting a sequel and you just think, why?

“Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” is a sequel to the 2017 film “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” an enjoyable-enough action-comedy. Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, and Ryan Reynolds reprise their titular roles (respectively) as the trio sets out to stop a madman (Antonio Banderas) from launching a digital attack on Europe. Morgan Freeman and Frank Grillo join the cast while Patrick Hughes returns to direct.

I liked the original film enough, but it wears out its welcome too early and crawls to a finish. I was interested in the sequel, there’s no denying this cast is stacked, but unfortunately this just another case of Hollywood pumping out a by-the-numbers sequel.

Ryan Reynolds’ stock has exploded since “Deadpool” came out in 2016, and I’ve always been a fan of his manic energy and deadpan delivery. Here he is fine, not exactly mailing it in but the script gives him absolutely nothing to do. Same with Samuel L. Jackson, who probably didn’t think he would be getting roles like this into his 70s but is enjoying himself enough despite having nothing really to do outside drop f-bombs.

The rest of the cast at least tries to have fun with it, with Salma Hayek playing the feisty Latina wife (she leans into it, God bless her), Antonio Banderas playing an under-written millionaire bad guy (named Aristotle Papadopoulos, randomly made me chuckle), and Morgan Freeman showing up in one of the film’s lone truly funny scenes.

The film’s script is more obsessed with adding swear words to as many sentences as possible than it is creating organic action set pieces or clever jokes, which gets stale rather quick. The first film was liberal with the f-bombs and blood, but they were usually at least funny and well-staged; here it all feels like the filmmakers are going through the motions. There is more location-hopping than “Tenet,” with Frank Grillo’s Interpol agent literally saying “get the chopper, we’re going to [location]” on at least three occasions.

The film runs 99 minutes, almost a half hour shorter than the original, but the pacing is *awful*. I thought the 143 minute “In the Heights” had some pacing issues but this film felt longer; my friend went to the bathroom at what I thought was the climax and we were only an hour in.

For what it’s worth, the audience I saw this with was having a great time, and the woman near me said “that was great” when the credits rolled. So maybe there is turn-your-brain-off fun to be had here for some people, and I’m thrilled for that; theaters need as many wins as they can get right now. But I really found “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” (the double possessive of this title gives me a headache) a chore to sit through, only chuckling at a joke or headshot on a handful of occasions. I love the summer movie season and think theaters need our support, so if you just want to see a movie for the sake of seeing a movie, sure, go nuts; but this movie made me pray for a bullet to the head.

Critics Rating: 3/10


One thought on “‘Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ Review: A Tired, Lazy Sequel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s