THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD — Review by Susan Granger

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There are no surprises in this buddy action-comedy. Two established American stars (one Caucasian, one African-American), supported by some stalwart, foreign character-actors, engage in lots of violence, peppered with profanity. Continue reading…

Disgraced Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is an elite private security guard – a.k.a. bodyguard – who botched an assignment when a Japanese arms-dealing client succumbed to sniper fire.

So when his former girl-friend, Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Young), asks him to safeguard a witness, promising to restore his “Triple A” reputation, he accepts the assignment.

Bryce is to provide protection for convicted hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), who is going from Manchester, England, to The Hague to testify in International Criminal Court against the deposed “ex-Soviet Union” Belarusian president, Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman).

Spewing obscenities, Darius Kincaid’s badass Latina lover, Sonia (Salma Hayek), is incarcerated in a Dutch prison. As part of the bargain, his evidence is her get-out-of-jail card.

Needless to say, Bryce and Kincaid have a bad history together. They’re about to embark on a perilous 24-hour road trip together, and they soon discover they must rely each other to survive.

Scripted by Tom O’Connor (“Fire with Fire”) and directed by Patrick Hughes (“The Expendables 3”), it’s generic to its core and chock full of clichés. The vintage plot is neither original nor inventive. And every scene looks as if it’s filmed through a gauzy haze.

The use of stunt doubles for both is obvious, particularly during the extended chases through Amsterdam. And it becomes ludicrous, even laughable, to see them both emerge unscathed from gun battles that leave their car riddled with bullet holes.

The only saving grace is the occasionally humorous verbal sparring between Bryce and Kincaid.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is a 5, missing its mark.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.