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Hitman's Bodyguard, The


Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L Jackson, Gary Oldman, Elodie Yung, Salma Hayek, Joaquim de Almeida, Richard E Grant, Rod Hallett, Kirsty Mitchell

Director: Patrick Hughes

Here's an ultra-violent 'odd couple' movie whose structure vaguely follows that of the De Niro classic Midnight Run. Some of its explosive action, though, like vans of Semtex charging through crowds and exploding in front of the International Courts of Justice in Holland, sits a little uncomfortably before our eyes in view of the year's events in the UK.

At any rate, Reynolds plays a bodyguard whose loss of a client has cost him his 'triple A' rating, as well as his relationship with Interpol agent Yung, whom he suspected as the source of a leak.

Now she calls on him to escort assassin Kinkaid (Jackson), who's eliminated dozens of targets for money, to Holland, where he'll testify against Belarus president Dukhovich (Oldman), who's on trial for genocidal crimes. Naturally, half of Belarus' secret service are determined to stop this happening...but Kinkaid's been promised that his foul-mouthed, skull-cracking virago of a wife (Hayek) will be released from jail if he makes it.

And, just to make things more difficult, there's a mole at Interpol HQ - we know it's the furtive de Almeida because he's always a bad guy - in Oldman's pay.

The ensuing trip is, of course, full of machine-gun action, frantic car and speedboat chases and high-decibel, mostly unprintable banter between Jackson's hyper hitman, and Reynolds' faintly goofy bodyguard. There's a even a shedload of swearing in the over-the-credits song, sung, inevitably (and very well too), by Jackson himself. It's formulaic, but quite fun too.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Colour by Arri.
117 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 13 Aug 2017