Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is all fun parody

Everything about Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a spoof of the action movie genre. This includes the movie’s title: two sequential singular possessives with no definite article “the“? The linguistic gymnastics needed to pronounce the title out loud is an indicator of how serious viewers should take the movie.

Nonetheless, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a fun action ramp and well suited for those looking for a midsummer diversion in a movie theater. 

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a fun romp

The first movie, the Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017), was also fun romp. Audiences responded: it grossed $176 million at the box office. (My review can be found here.) The sequel is almost as much fun but audiences shouldn’t scrape too much off the movie’s super thin gloss of a plot and story.

The producers of the first movie must have listened to audiences laughing through the first film. The on-screen chemistry between Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds, and Salma Hayek was palpable. This same chemistry anchors the sequel, although Heyek’s role is now central to the story. This time around they get assists from equally comic performances by Morgan Freeman (as Bryce’s father) and Antonio Banderas (as a Greek shipping tycoon). 

A ludicrous but comic plot

Ryan Reynolds plays the disgraced “Triple A” bodyguard Michael Bryce. He is in therapy trying to give up his life’s ambitions of becoming a famous and successful bodyguard. Sonia (an over-the-top Hayek) kidnaps Bryce to protect Darius Kincaid (Jackson). His attempt to give up the bodyguard life plays out to comedic effect as he avoids the violent chaos of mobsters and assassins on their tails. 

Sonia desperately wants to keep Darius alive so they can start a family. She mistakenly thinks that Darius wants Bryce to be his bodyguard. Meanwhile, the bad guy (Banderas) tries to bring down Europe’s electrical grid to derail EU plans to levy economic sanctions against Greece.

The entire plot is ludicrous; it merely serving as the scaffolding for wise cracks, a relentless cascade of one liners, a series of surprisingly engaging chases, explosions, murders, and other colorful special effects. 

The movie never takes itself seriously

A redeeming quality of the movie, however, is how well the characters are scripted. The screenplay’s dialogue is a surprisingly strong example of how dialogue reveals the personalities of characters and their relationship to each other. Story creator Tom O’Connor carefully mapped out each character’s personality and story arc while the dialogue drives the story’s momentum. 

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is not for the serious movie buff. The high-octane action sequences and unrelenting parody, however, make this movie well suited for the air-conditioned caverns of a big screen movie theater. 

Author: SR Staley
SR Staley has one more than 11 literary awards for his fiction and nonfiction writing. He is on the full-time faculty of the College and Social Sciences and Public Policy at Florida State University as well as a film critic and research fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California. His award-winning Pirate of Panther Bay series (syppublishing.com) has won awards in historical fiction, mainstream & literary fiction, young adult fiction, and reached the finals in women's fiction. His most recent book is "The Beatles and Economics: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and the Making of a Cultural Revolution" due out in April 2020 (Routledge).