Director: Patrick Hughes
Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is a down at heel protection agent who is swiftly called back into a high-profile bodyguard’s role when his former partner and fast tracking Interpol agent Amelia Rousel (Elodie Yung) demands his help. His job is to get a witness and notorious assassin, Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), to The Hague in time to give evidence against Vladislav Dukhovic (Gary Oldman), a former dictator facing trail for war crimes. Bryce and Kincaid have history. Kincaid has tried to kill Bryce a number of times under his hit man guise and generally been a haunting figure throughout his protection agent career. A journey that takes them from the northwest to the continent, it’s not going to be a smooth ride and the odds are stacked firmly against them.
I’m fairly certain that when Tom O’Connor wrote this screenplay he only ever had Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson in mind for the lead roles. The chemistry between the two main characters is clear to see and these are the type of roles that are meat and drink to these two actors. Reynolds is gives Bryce a very skittish edge, blaming everybody else for his misfortune rather than looking at himself. This is something Kincaid is not afraid to point out to Bryce on numerous occasions. Turning to Jackson this is him at his loudest and most outrageously over the top. Bryce and Kincaid bounce off each other really well. Speaking of outrageous, Salma Hayek also turns up the decibels and extravagance as the tough but incarcerated wife to Kincaid. Do you remember the time when Gary Oldman just grew a goatee beard and played the bad guy? Well, he’s back at it again and this probably the easiest cheque he’s earned in recent time. He pulls off the evil dictator type like it’s a way of life. Throw in Elodie Yung as the love interest for Reynolds and you’ve got a pretty impressive line up.
The film ticks every box it’s marked upon. It does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s the perfect example of how to make an action comedy. Think back to likes of Midnight Run or Tango and Cash, both of the late eighties, and that’s exactly the sort of film you have. The language is frequently coarse but the action is just as frequent, elaborate and well staged. The humour is delivered well and with good timing throughout and you really got to feel as if anyone involved with this film had an absolute blast making it. It’s very unlikely you’ll see a movie of a similar mould reach the standards of this for the rest of the year.
4/5 Stars: For action and comedy for the older viewer, look no further.