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The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Gore Meets Gorgeous

When Ryan Reynolds isn’t cast in a romantic comedy, he’s cast in a violent one in turn. Coping with the aftermath of a destroyed career when an unknown sniper executes his client from afar, Michael Bryce (Reynolds) had spent the following years protecting assassins from harm’s way and still struggling with the result of losing girlfriend Amelia Roussell, (Eldoie Yung,) and INTERPOL agent. Working with INTERPOL, Bryce is to keep Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) in one piece, despite Kincaid’s plans otherwise as he plans to free his wife Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek) from her Amsterdam prison, to, in turn, imprison himself.  Turmoil erupts in the former regions of the Belarus, as dictator Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman) scours Europe in hopes of to reap Kincaid. Kincaid escapes the scene as a witness and carries the information within him. Dukhovich calls in his own merciless forces to seek out the hitman while the dictator is tried before a jury.  The stereotype of a cruel, bloodlusted ruler is well-evident within this film, with Soviet tragedy on the line, and is heavily relied on to forge multiple plot lines into a single resolution. As Bryce seeks to avoid danger at any cost, Kincaid is beyond eager to continue his plethora of carnage and is virtually unable to die while in the face of dramatic, crisply stunted explosions, or showers of bullets. Director Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3, Red Hill,) stages a series of brilliant and visually aesthetic chase scenes that are nothing shy of implosions, combustion and brutally graphic manslaughter. Uniquely, these scenes are shot at multiple angles, allowing the audience to view to havoc from an array of perceptions- with the occasional blood splashing against the camera lens. Ironically, there are mistakes to the gruesomeness. At one point, Bryce strikes an opponent with the blade of an ax. Instead of crippling his oppressor, or even harming him, the strike is shrugged off and totally deflected. Besides the blood-curdling and physically repulsive gore, the humor is witty, lewd, and excellent when it comes to its punchline or delivery, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is utterly hysterical, as Kincaid has no will to bite his tongue or swallow his pride, saying anything that comes to mind. Adverse to his client in which he blatantly and openly resents, Bryce attempts to control himself and remain more reserved, no-nonsense, even though he contests with vulgarity. From deeming Bryce as “a whack-ass hipster,” to decoding his guilt over Roussell, Kincaid is obnoxious, rude, and loud- which allows Jackson to flaunt his ability to sing at particular points. The unlikely pair reach Amsterdam, which is introduced with sharp lower thirds, in order to free Sonia Kincaid, where a deception is answered and the truth that is searched for- the culprit to Bryce’s downfall is revealed. The scenery is stunning yet quaint, and in one, The Hitman’s Bodyguard  is clever enough to loop unseemly different backgrounds and stories to create a single conclusion and reward each character with anticipated fate. In a bought of anger, Bryce turns to the comfort of alcohol as he spews his rage, venting profusely as a series of outrageously intense events unfold behind him, yet leave him without a scratch or mar. A bypasser can be seen as he mildly strolls by and seems to be unaffected by the chaos that is unleashed in the background. If examined, he is seen wearing the same motorcycling jacket- a shade of mahogany striped with rust- that Hugh Jackman had worn during his days as The Wolverine, James “Logan” Howlett. Perhaps this is seen as homage paid to by an actor that was granted a spin-off from featured films.  As the film winds to an end, and sequences that strikingly resemble action found in John Wick, Deadpool and Atomic Blonde come to their potent conclusion, a resolution is called on the fleeting brink of a minute, and the conflict is answered with a deserving fate. This film is highly entertaining and masterfully written. Reynolds and Jackson are keen when it comes to foul-mouthed mercenary roles.

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