Movie Review: “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”

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Nowadays, people watch movies for a purpose. They want to leave the theater with something more than just a jumbled mess of characters and scenes that they know they will forget within a few days. People search for movies with meaning and depth, movies that force them to think while they watch rather than give them ample time to sit back and put their brains on relax mode. Thus, it is not surprising to notice profound films such as “La La Land” and “Get Out” achieve success on an international level, garnering acclaim from film critics and ordinary movie lovers.

And while this movie trend is a positive one, sometimes there is nothing better than letting your brain relax for an hour or two. Especially in Korea, where everyone works tirelessly at their schools and workplaces, the last thing anyone needs is another hour or two of intense concentration and thinking about a complex, profound topic. After all, the very essence of theater and film is pure entertainment. And the perfect example of a movie that allows to audience to sit back and relax is “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” an action comedy film released earlier this fall.

While critics panned the movie as having a clichéd storyline, it is fast-paced and full of plot twists, leaving no room for boredom. Ryan Reynolds stars as Michael Bryce, a former elite bodyguard who has fallen from the top of the game after a Japanese millionaire is assassinated under his watch. A few years later, he is finally given an opportunity to restore his former status. Chaos is reigning at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, where the evil dictator of Belarus, Vladislav Dukhovich, is finally on trial for crimes against humanity. Ironically enough, the only person alive who has substantial evidence of Dukhovich’s crimes is Darius Kincaid, a notorious hitman who has killed hundreds of men during his lifetime. Bryce’s mission is to escort the hitman from England to The Hague in just 27 hours, before the trial can conclude and Dukhovich can be acquitted.

Although escorting a man from England to the Netherlands may seem simple enough, it proves to be extremely difficult in this case. Kincaid is a magnet for killers, having attracted the enmity of dozens of men, including the Interpol and Dukhovich’s men. Thus enemies attack Bryce and Kincaid at nearly every corner of the way, ambushing them when they least expect it. During these moments, Bryce’s tendency to make carefully laid plans constantly clashes with Kincaid’s brashness and impulsiveness, prompting a series of comical arguments where the two yell back and forth as the enemy approaches closer.

The chemistry between the two actors, Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson (Kincaid), was definitely the highlight of the film. The two bickered like an old couple throughout the film, creating a light and playful atmosphere for the viewers despite the violence and intense action that was also taking place. And while there was some blood and brutality, it was clear that the movie was going to have a happy ending due to the hilariously ridiculous ways the two characters managed to avoid death.

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is perhaps not a masterpiece. It probably doesn’t even rank in the top twenty movies of the year for most critics. But what made the experience worthwhile was its ability to make the audience laugh and feel good. With great chemistry from its actors and several laugh-out-loud moments, anyone looking for a humorous, spirited movie will find just what they have been looking for.

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Fiona Cho

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