Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (USA/UK, 2021)

Four years after their iconic team up, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson reunite for this sequel which features a hilarious over the top performance by Salma Hayek.

For Michael Bryce, having successfully brought assassin Darius Kincaid to the Hague a few years ago should have earned him his elite status back. However, it is far from the truth. Instead, he has ended up on the short end of the stick. Haunted by what has happened, he has sought a therapist, who suggests he takes a break from bodyguarding and take a vacation. However, his vacation is cut short by the arrival of Sonia Kincaid, Darius’ wife.

Darius is in hot water with Italian mob boss Carlo. When a shootout results in Carlo’s death, the trio find themselves in hot water with Interpol agent O’Neill. Carlo was to make a deal with a mysterious buyer for the codes to a device that can wipe out entire cities. When the plan fails, Sonia is strapped to a bracelet that will explode if the bracelet is nowhere near her. The trio escapes to the home of Michael’s idol and stepfather. However, when it is revealed who wants the codes, a series of events and revelations will force these frenemies to really band together to stop the chaos.

In 2017, fans were treated to a new iconic team-up between Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson in The Hitman’s Bodyguard. The chemistry of the two leads were the highlight of the film as they played each other off really well. While Gary Oldman mainly took a backseat as the lead villain and who lets his men do all the work, we get a virtual repeat of that in this sequel, which bumps up Salma Hayek from an extended cameo in the original to now co-lead alongside Reynolds and Jackson. And she fits right in!

As the very outspoken and blunt Sonia, Hayek comes in at the right time as she appears in a scene similar to the Amsterdam bar scene in the original. As Reynolds sits comfy in his chair, a shootout ensues behind him and leads to Hayek telling Reynolds she needs him. Once again, Hayek goes insane with the foul mouth and overscreaming like she did in the original. At times, she does brings a sense of emotion whether she is helping Michael get over an issue involving his mother’s death affecting him or when Michael confronts Sonia and telling her what a terrible mother she would be, something he said in anger because she gave him painkillers.

Two insane additions to the cast are that of Antonio Banderas and Morgan Freeman. Banderas plays our lead villain in Aristotle Papadoupoulos, a wealthy Greek magnate who is obsessed with the fact that Greece is the birthplace of civilization and has a means to destroy Europe with a device that can wipe out everything in terms of technology and literally destroys them. As for Freeman, he is Michael’s stepfather who gets a shocking reaction from Jackson upon first meeting him. This leads to a series of twists and turns within the story and the second half of the film amps up the insanity and emotional asset. Sadly, Frank Grillo seems to have an extended cameo as the Interpol agent who hires the trio to make the deal to save everyone and he’s mostly all talk and no action, a far cry from what we are used to.

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is not quite as good as the first one, but that’s not the fault of Reynolds, Jackson, and Hayek as the trio make the most of the film. The second half does make up a bit for the film, notably the final action set piece. They get an A for effort but just falls short when compared to the original film.

WFG RATING: B

A Lionsgate/Millennium Media production in association with Campbell-Grobman Films. Director: Patrick Hughes. Producers: Les Weldon, Yariv Lerner, and Matt O’Toole. Writers: Tom O’Connor, Phillip Murphy, and Brandon Murphy. Cinematography: Terry Stacey. Editing: Michael J. Duthie and Jack Hutchings.

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo, Tom Hopper, Caroline Goodall, Tine Joustra, Gabriella Wright, Kristofer Kamiyasu, Blake Ritson, Alice McMillan.

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