Action Comedy

Review: ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ Delivers Explosions, Expletives, and a ‘Desperado’ Reunion

June 16, 2021Ben MK

In Hollywood, there are two types of sequels — those that try to push the narrative forward, and those that only seek to duplicate the formula of the original in an attempt to replicate its success. And while The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard may initially seem to fall squarely in that latter category, it just might surprise viewers expecting nothing more than a straight-up rehash of the first installment.

A followup to 2017's The Hitman's Bodyguard, the film finds former executive protection agent Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) still unable to overcome the professional failures of his past. Dogged by recurring nightmares that force him to relive the assignment that cost him his AAA license, he finally decides to heed the advice of his therapist and take a sabbatical, heading to Italy for some rest and relaxation free of all things bodyguarding. Unfortunately for Michael, escaping his troubles — especially the bane of his existence, foul-mouthed hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) — won't be nearly that easy. And when trouble inevitably finds him — this time, in the form of Darius' equally foul-mouthed and hot-tempered wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) — Michael must reluctantly put his vacation plans on hold, as he sets out to help Sonia rescue Darius, who's been kidnapped by the Mafia.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe, Greek billionaire Aristotle Papadopolous (Antonio Banderas) is plotting something that will disrupt the economic balance of the world in a major way. Fed up with the crippling sanctions that the European Union has been imposing on his home country, he plans to launch a full-scale cyberattack on Europe, as a means of restoring Greece to its former glory. It's a scheme arguably worthy of a James Bond villain, and it's one that Interpol agent Bobby O'Neill (Frank Grillo) is intent on stopping. But when O'Neill's mob informant ends up dead and he recruits Michael, Darius and Sonia to be his undercover operatives instead, he unwittingly puts the fate of Earth's sixth-largest continent in the hands of the bickering trio.

With The Hitman's Bodyguard director Patrick Hughes back at the helm and screenwriter Tom O'Connor back on script duty — joined this time around by brothers Brandon and Phillip Murphy — what follows makes for such a seamless carryover from its predecessor that it's easy to forget that four years have past since the original movie. That said, if the notion of two of Hollywood's most sardonic and notoriously wise-cracking actors teaming up for a buddy comedy didn't totally win you over the first time, then there's a very high probability that this sequel will have you rolling your eyes long before the film's second obligatory bit of stunt casting.

Nonetheless, if you like your explosions accompanied by expletives, then The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard is for you. With more action and more foul-mouthed shenanigans than the previous outing — not to mention a significantly more epic plot — the result is every bit the guilty pleasure The Hitman's Bodyguard was, if not more. It even features a Desperado reunion to boot, and surely that has to count for something.

The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard releases June 16th, 2021 from VVS Films. The film has an MPAA rating of R for strong bloody violence throughout, pervasive language, and some sexual content. Its runtime is 1 hr. 39 min.

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