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'The Hitman's Bodyguard' is too senselessly violent to be funny

Samuel L Jackson "Darius Kincaid" and Ryan Reynolds as "Michael Bryce" in THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD. (Photo: Lionsgate, Jack English)

The Hitman’s Bodyguard
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Director:
Patrick Hughes
Writer: Tom O'Connor
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rated: R for strong violence and language throughout

Synopsis: Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) was a high profile bodyguard until one of his clients was killed on his watch. Now he’s eking out a living with lesser jobs. Tasked with protecting a hitman (Samuel L. Jackson) who is going to testify against an ousted political leader (Gary Oldman), Bryce tries to regain the respect and the life that he once had.

Review: There are many funny moments and some great chase scenes in “The Hitman’s Bodyguard.” It was certainly better than the satire that I was expecting as this plays closer to the “Midnight Run” formula than it does “Scary Movie,” but the incessant violence made it difficult for me to really enjoy the film’s finer moments.

I’m not inherently opposed to violence in films. I’ve seen and enjoyed plenty of horror film, action films and dramas that are filled with violence and didn’t flinch, but there’s something about this particular movie that left me feeling uncomfortable.

The best explanation I can give you is that a film like “Deadpool” exists in a fantasy world and as a result the violence contained within its story doesn’t resonate. Ryan Reynolds cracking jokes while the body count rises doesn’t feel as vulgar as it does in “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” because the violence doesn’t feel as real as it does here. Still, “the Hitman’s Bodyguard” isn’t as real as “Detroit” or “Saving Private Ryan,” but those films weren’t trying to pile up laughs along with the bodies.

I might feel differently if the violence in the film served a higher purpose. But death as the setup to a punchline just doesn’t work for me.


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