Run time: 118 mins
A consensus: if you can’t get Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Nice Guys) to write smart dialogue for your buddy-cop comedy, just go loud and silly.
Luckily for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, the combined comedy force of Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds makes for a winning formula. Simple: Jackson plays Darius the hitman, Reynolds, Michael his bodyguard. They need to get from London to The Hague without getting killed. Uh oh! There’s an inexhaustible, army of Belarusian mercenaries doing all kinds to rub them out enroute, eg: firing bazookas down Amsterdam canals, all to prevent Darius from testifying against genocidal warlord Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman on his day off).
It’s a good thing their banter works. The script is, after all, tailor made to suit this odd-couple well. The rest is so over-the-top, the only way is to play along. It’s Tom & Jerry, where Jackson can take a bullet, extract it himself there and then and jump off a roof without even an apologetic limp. (research Jack Whiting) Turn an otherwise dull Weight-Watchers/Gym, evening into a fun September Thursday Rex night out. Ditch wasted carnal-free sweat. Come and sit, be absolved/absorbed. Drink and laugh for an hour or so…