The Hitman's Bodyguard

Critics Consensus

The Hitman's Bodyguard coasts on Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds' banter -- but doesn't get enough mileage to power past an overabundance of action-comedy clichés.



Total Count: 213


Audience Score

User Ratings: 26,871
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Movie Info

The world's top protection agent (Ryan Reynolds) is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world's most notorious hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson). The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator (Gary Oldman) who is out for blood. Salma Hayek joins the mayhem as Jackson's equally notorious wife.

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Ryan Reynolds
as Michael Bryce
Samuel L. Jackson
as Darius Kincaid
Gary Oldman
as Vladislav Dukhovich
Salma Hayek
as Sonia Kincaid
Elodie Yung
as Amelia Roussel
Joaquim de Almeida
as Jean Foucher
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Critic Reviews for The Hitman's Bodyguard

All Critics (213) | Top Critics (35)

  • Outwardly it's all as mindless as can be.

    Aug 30, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • The whole film feels slightly grubby and low-res, like it's been languishing in private mode on the filmmakers' pre-HD YouTube page since 2008.

    Aug 19, 2017 | Full Review…
  • For me, The Hitman's Bodyguard is the epitome of what a summer movie should be.

    Aug 18, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • While no one is going to mistake The Hitman's Bodyguard for high art, it will please those in the mood for late-summer fun.

    Aug 18, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The political realism doesn't sit well with the exploding cars, singing nuns and quipping killers.

    Aug 18, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • "The Hitman's Bodyguard" comes at you hard, but skates by on its charms. Kiss kiss, bang bang.

    Aug 18, 2017 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Hitman's Bodyguard

  • Aug 28, 2018
    I think we need to, finally, take a moment and appreciate how good Ryan Reynolds actually is. There was a period of time where, for some reason, a lot of people didn't like him and I simply did not understand why, because I've always found him to be incredibly talented, charming, clever and quick-witted. Maybe it's because there's some much emphasis placed on how handsome he is, particularly earlier in his career, that certain people resented that. Feeling that he was just another pretty face with no real talent. That has obviously been proven false and, really, I knew it way back in the day, even dating back to his Van Wilder days, which is what put him on the map. He's been great in Adventureland, Buried, The Voices, Deadpool (obviously). In short, he's been very good in almost everything I've seen him in. That he's had a few missteps is to be expected, not every actor has a perfect record. He's been very good in movies that I didn't think were good to begin with, like The Proposal and The Captive. And, of course, that one big flop that has always hung over his head, one that's a running joke in the Deadpool series, The Green Lantern. I'll be honest, I have very little interest in that movie and I haven't seen it and I don't plan on it. I don't know how good or bad Ryan was in that movie, but I remember there being such a blowback to that movie. It was so significant that I remember there being fan complaints (when aren't there fan complaints, really, when it comes to geek culture) when Reynolds was cast as Deadpool because of how bad The Green Lantern is perceived to have been. I'll be honest, I thought he was a great choice for the character from the start, but I didn't know just how good he'd actually be as Deadpool. That's why, now, we all now that Deadpool is the role he was meant to play. It's almost like the character itself was created FOR him, complete with an early reference, by Deadpool himself, in the second issue of the Deadpool and Cable comics, that he looked like Ryan Reynolds with the skin of a shar pei. There's my Ryan Reynolds appreciation "essay". Regardless, how about we move on to this movie shall we? In spite of all the negative reviews, though I'd say it was more middle-of-the-road reviews than full-on negative ones, I was actually looking forward to this movie. It's Ryan Reynolds and Samuel Jackson teaming up in an action-comedy. These two sure do like to talk a lot, so I imagine that they'd play off very well off each other. And they definitely have some great chemistry in that banter-y, Lethal Weapon sort of way. Lethal Weapon really did change the game in a lot of ways and its influence is still being felt to this day. Though, obviously, this isn't breaking new ground. It isn't doing anything that we haven't seen before. Having said that, I think that this movie falls just short of being good. But, at the same time, I feel like it's actually still a relatively solid movie with a really strong cast. This is why I feel that, sometimes, there should be a quarter rating system on RT and Letterboxd, because there are some movies that I feel are better than 2.5 stars, but they don't quite reach 3. 2.75 is a good in between. I suppose I could put the real score prior to the review, but I don't know, that's somehow silly to me. Moving on, though. Movie sees this former elite protection agent having to protect and deliver a hitman (Darius), whom he's had many run-ins with, to this trial, where he's meant to testify against the president of Belarus for crimes against humanity. Every key witness has been murdered by the president's hired goons. I've never understood how this isn't seen, by those pursuing the case against the person who's on trial, as, basically, an admission of guilt. Because key witnesses, who are meant to testify, are being murdered. This has happened in real life too. But, of course, the legal system being the way it is, you need proof of this in order to prosecute. Which is, clearly, a bunch of bullshit. Anyway, yea, the film is basically their journey to this trial without being murdered by the president's men or being caught by Interpol agents fearing that Bryce can't be trusted. And, of course, Bryce and Darius' worst enemies are each other, since they sit on opposite sides of the fence. Darius kills bad people and Bryce protects arms dealer and (shady) rich businessmen. I think this is probably one of the few flaws in the film, in that there's some serious moments that feel really at odds with the tone of the rest of the movie. Darius and Bryce have moral debates about how Darius kills for money, but those he kills are, really, bad people and how Bryce ends up protecting those who profit from suffering and pain. It's moral debate 101 and they don't go into any real depth regarding this subject. But, again, it feels so out of left field considering what the rest of the movie is. I do appreciate that, at least in the case of Darius, it provided backstory as to his thought process and what led him to become a hitman. This is an issue that comes up a lot in, say, horror comedies, but it feels like the dram and the comedy are kept separate from each other. In a lot of cases, the drama and the comedy work hand in hand, with a synergy. Little Miss Sunshine is a perfect example of this. The drama adds to the characters' depth, but the comedy livens that drama and adds to the overall dynamic of these characters. While there's a certain respect growing between Bryce and Darius, again, the serious stuff feels at odds with the comedy. And it's not that the comedy is all that great to begin with, but it is perfectly solid. With Ryan Reynolds and Samuel Jackson, you can afford to be a little lax on certain aspects of your script, because you know they got your back. But, at the same time, can you imagine how good this movie would have been with a considerably stronger script and these two being at each other's throats, playing off of each other??? Seriously think about it for a moment and get back to me. The action is pretty decent as well, considerably more violent than I was expecting. Almost like it had to overcompensate for something but, again, I found this to be perfectly solid (2.75 out of 5 stars), so I don't think it had to overcompensate for much. Well, really, a weaker script than should have been expected. But, other than that, I had no problem with anything this movie did. It's just that it didn't come together perfectly to create a good movie, in my opinion. Yes, Jackson and Reynolds make a great team, they really do, but I felt that the movie needed far more than just their chemistry in order to get by. There is a sequel in development which, actually, I'm surprisingly looking forward to, since it gives them a chance to fix what went wrong with this movie and just give the characters more stuff to do than just the typical odd couple routine. Not that there shouldn't be an antagonistic relationship between Darius and Bryce, but don't make that the focus of the entire movie. Expand on their reluctant friendship. Make sure you have a great script and you'll have a vastly improved sequel in your hands. The pieces are already there, it's just taking the time necessary to make sure everything is of strong quality. Having said that, I don't really have much else to say about this. It's a solid, but not good, movie. Reynolds and Jackson are great together, but everything around them isn't, so this is what you get. Solid enough, but this should have been better.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jan 04, 2018
    This film predictably recycles all the tropes of a buddy action comedy. I think it was decidedly average on the strength of Samuel L Jackson and Ryan Reynolds' banter alone. There are certainly some high points in that exchange, but not as much as I hoped. I think Reynolds character was a little limp when set against Samuel L Jackson. The movie really comes apart outside of the buddy focal point. Let's be honest, expectations were not terribly high. The movie is delivering on a "oh that's a neat pairing" setup. This went a long way, but it was not nearly enough to salvage this into a good movie. The plot is painful, the action sequences are too gimmicky and it is way too long. The final 20-30 minutes is unnecessary. The action sequences are also somehow both too edgy and too dated. The movie falls into a painful trap of out-doing their own twists for, what feels like, three hours. The result is a painful mess you stop wanting to watch. I am not sure I can remember the name of even one of the supporting characters, I remember nothing of the sound track or much beyond the opening action sequence. In other words, the movie is bereft of anything other than some funny banter between two actors that are at home in this genre. A pity, really.
    Shane S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 02, 2017
    Two stars holding guns out at the audience on the poster = buddy action movie! Think of over-the-top crazy action set pieces paired with "meh" buddy repartee (like what they used to do in the Lethal Weapon series, or is that too passé anymore?). Jackson, Reynolds, Hayak and Oldman are old hands at this. A few times, that shows. Still, movie fun. And, of course, love Amsterdam. (P.S. I have never been as jealous of Jackson, even when a shark ate him, as when he got to kiss Hayek!!!)
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 07, 2017
    The film starts quite flat and hasn't hit the ground running, I thought this was going to be a comedy but it looks very one dimensional. The marketing team really did an incredible job twisting people into watching this run of the mill action film. The film clicks into high gear but every character is very cliche riddled, even Oldman is lacking the usual method charm. The film has a good chemistry with Reynolds and Jackson but it never amounts to what it should. The language thinks that is the only humour but the audience deserved more. The mismatched buddy film is nothing new but there is a difference between generic and formulaic films, this will never become a classic by any means. 09-09-2017.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer

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