Complete A-Z list

Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard


Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Samuel L Jackson, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Frank Grillo, Caroline Goodall, Tom Hopper, Richard E Grant, Gabriella Wright

Director: Patrick Hughes

This is like a James Bond film without the subtlety or serious overtones - although one or two lines did make me laugh. Bodyguard Michael Bryce (Reynolds) has lost both his triple-A rating and his bodyguard's licence. Told to get away from it all, he's sunning himself on an Italian beach when all hell breaks loose and he finds himself entwined in the violent fortunes of international con artist Sonia Kinkaid (Hayek) who, when not dodging bullets, is set on releasing her husband, hit-man Darius (Jackson), from the clutches of east European gangsters.

She's also the ex of evil mastermind Papadopolous (Banderas) who, in the film's main plot, is planning to upload a virus that will plunge the world into darkness - 'financial markets will collapse!' - and leave Greece as its master. Poor little Greece? Whoever thought of them as a film's main villain?

The action and swearing are, as you'd expect, both off the scale, while Reynolds' soft tones often make his lines difficult to follow. But then dialogue is scarcely necessary in a film that's just a welter of gun battles, car chases and boat chases. Second-unit director Greg Powell and his crew certainly earned their corn on this one. Dozens of expendable goons are gunned down with single shots, while our anti-heroes escape more or less unscathed. Hayek is as bustily sexy as ever at 54 and her fierce emoting dominates the film.

The locations on a Grand Tour of Italy are prettily photographed, and the ending silly but amusing.

Final thought: if I saw that the payroll accountant for my forthcoming movie was called Anna Bankova (watch the credits), I might ask for my money in advance.

David Quinlan

USA/UK/Croatia/Portugal 2020. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Colour by Panalux.
100 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 17 Jun 2021