The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a rare film in which Samuel L. Jackson says ‘mothafucka’ a lot and Ryan Reynolds gets to play a sarcastic Canadian. It’s a return to the ever reliable well of the buddy cop genre, which has produced a plethora of instant classics in recent years, like Central Intelligence and something else with The Rock in it.
Samuel L. Jackson plays Samuel L. Jackson, an indestructible contract killer who is, quite frankly, obsessed with the idea of people fucking mothers. The actor is known for his incessant use of the phrase ‘mothafucka’, but in this film he repeats the witty retort so often that he actually incepts the notion of doing it into the minds of the audience. I’m fucking somebody’s mother right now.
Jackson must testify against an adequately foreign dictator played by Gary Oldman or Glenn Close, but his journey to a Dutch courtroom features a number of hurdles in the shape of Belarusian shits. So who better to escort him than Ryan Reynolds’ AAA-rated bodyguard, Ryan Reynolds?
Ryan Reynolds is thoroughly convincing in the role of Ryan Reynolds, delivering his lines in a way that I could tell was meant to be funny because he was doing that vacant expression thing and raising his eyebrows, as if he’s just discovered he enjoys having his gooch tickled. There is undeniable chemistry between him and Jackson, the two of them exchanging witticisms and relationship advice on a long car journey that is often more rewarding than the chase sequences, but ultimately provides a platform for more mother fucking.
Incidentally, there is no actual fucking of mothers in this film. We could be led to believe that Salma Hayek’s character – a loud and sweary Latina who is attractive because she bottles people in the neck – had a child with Jackson, but there is no such scene to confirm this. Similarly, there is nothing to confirm that Elodie Yung is even a real human being in this film. She exists purely to serve Reynolds’ complex character arc, feeding on his charisma juice like a desperate parasite.