Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry & hopes his writings will help launch his careers.
It's often hard to make a sequel that lives up to the status and success of the original. Every now and then, there's a sequel that does surpass the first. The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard almost meets the bar that the first film set, however, it doesn't quite hit the mark.
The film follows our favorite bodyguard Michael who is in therapy after losing his license due to the events of the first film. His therapist sends him on a self-discovery vacation. Just when he thinks life is finally looking up, he is pulled back into bodyguard work as Darius' wife has tracked Michael down, seeking his help.
So let's look at what the film did right. The humor carried over well from the first and the chemistry that Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson have was only magnified with the addition of Salma Hayek. It was also nice to see Antonio Banderas on screen once again with Salma Hakek, as any El Mariachi fan can attest. I also loved the references made toward pop culture. The jokes were always spot-on and were made in jest, never to be hateful.
So what is it that the film did wrong? Mostly, it was the writing that was the problem. There were so many times when the film jumped from place to place without really taking the time to let the audience catch up or to explain why what was happening was happening. There were also times when I felt the action was cartoonish. Over-the-top is fun and lets the audience let loose a bit. Cartoonish, however, is even beyond that and makes things almost impossible to believe. It's like going into a Tom and Jerry film and expecting it to be realistic. Despite the danger presented and the bad guy wanting to destroy Europe, the danger never really felt real because our heroes were invincible no matter what they endured.
There's also a big reveal in the film that I thought was a bit of a let-down. Skip this paragraph if you don't want any spoilers! (Final Spoiler Warning) Morgan Freeman's character was revealed to be Michael's dad and I found that to be a huge missed opportunity and a disappointing reveal. It was played out as funny but tell me, which would have been better. White guy has a black dad, or Michael's dad turning out to be Kevin Costner, the most iconic movie bodyguard ever? I mean, it wouldn't even have to be the same character from The Bodyguard. Just his showing up would be an amazing callback to the film. Okay, rant over.
That seems like a lot of negatives but really the positives far outweigh the negatives. It pokes fun at things that are often taken seriously in espionage films and lets you relax and enjoy yourself for a couple hours. Isn't that what buddy-comedies are made to do anyway? Samuel's "don't give a flip" attitude mixed with Salma's "crazy lady" antics with a dose of Ryan's "I'm dead inside" humor was such a perfect mixture and carried the film from start to finish.
In conclusion, it may not have been as good as the first film but it was still hilarious and fun and full of heart. In the end, that's what truly matters. I give the film a 3 out of 4.
© 2021 Nathan Jasper
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on June 16, 2021:
I've not seen this film. Sounds interesting. Good review. :)
Mark Devoll on June 15, 2021:
Thanks for the review, I'll check this out!