Published Aug 18, 2017You don't become the second highest grossing actor of all time by saying no to movie roles. Over the past five decades, Samuel L. Jackson has become a household name thanks to a career of films containing his most identifiable catchphrase: "motherfucker." He said "motherfucker" in Django Unchained. He said "motherfucker," famously, in Pulp Fiction. And we wouldn't be surprised if he said "motherfucker" in Astro Boy (if only we could find someone who actually saw it).
Jackson's irreverent profanity seems to be one of the driving forces behind the creation of The Hitman's Bodyguard, a foul-mouthed action comedy from The Expendables 3 director Patrick Hughes that's elevated from awful to passable by the strength of its leads' charisma alone.
Joining Jackson is Ryan Reynolds, the former Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place star that's had a mid-career resurgence thanks to his portrayal of the "Merc with a Mouth" in Marvel's Deadpool. In it, he swore up a storm, which makes his potty mouth and movie star good looks the perfect complement to Jackson's prolific mother-loving expletives.
Reynolds plays Michael Bryce, a former CIA member and triple A-rated protective agent who has his classification revoked after a job with a foreign dignitary goes wrong. Flash forward a few years later and he's providing detail for coked-out lawyers in a shit-smelling sedan. When his ex-girlfriend, Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Élodie Yung), tells him a formerly incarcerated hitman (Jackson) is set to testify against a merciless dictator (Gary Oldman) and that her operation has been compromised, he's tasked with taking care of the deadly assassin.
Its simple, odd couple premise doesn't get much more interesting from there, as the pair battles it out against henchmen on European highways, riverfronts, back alleys and hardware stores (in one of the film's more unique fight scenes). Two-time screenwriter Tom O'Connor occasionally attempts to beef up their backstories to explain his characters' jaded personas, but it's no match for both of their typecast personalities, which dominate the film, for better or worse.