The Hitman's Bodyguard
The Hitman's Bodyguard is a 2017 American action comedy film directed by Patrick Hughes and starring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, and Salma Hayek. The film follows a bodyguard (Reynolds) who must protect a convicted hitman (Jackson), who's on his way to testify at the International Criminal Court.
|The Hitman's Bodyguard|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Patrick Hughes|
|Written by||Tom O'Connor|
|Music by||Atli Örvarsson|
|Edited by||Jake Roberts|
|Distributed by||Summit Entertainment (through Lionsgate)|
|Box office||$176.6 million|
The Hitman's Bodyguard was released in the United States on August 18, 2017, and grossed $180 million worldwide. The film received mixed reviews, with critics praising Reynolds and Jackson's performances and chemistry, as well as the action sequences but criticizing the clichéd plot and execution. A sequel, The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, is currently scheduled to release on August 20, 2021.
Michael Bryce (Reynolds) lives a stylish life as an elite UK-based private bodyguard, until client Takashi Kurosawa is assassinated on his watch. Two years later, the disgraced Bryce ekes out a living protecting drug-addicted corporate executives in London.
Meanwhile, Vladislav Dukhovich (Oldman), the ruthless dictator of Belarus, is on trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court. Unable to secure solid evidence or testimony against Dukhovich, the prosecution's last hope is notorious incarcerated hitman Darius Kincaid (Jackson), who agrees to testify against Dukhovich in exchange for the release of his wife Sonia (Hayek) from prison. Led by Interpol Agent Roussel (Yung), an armed convoy escorting Kincaid then departs.
With the aid of treacherous Interpol Assistant Director Jean Foucher (Almeida), Dukhovich's men successfully ambush the convoy and kill most of the security team. Kincaid manages to eliminate the attackers but their vehicle is destroyed. Having survived the attack, Agent Roussel takes Kincaid to an Interpol safehouse. Realizing that the agency cannot be entrusted with the mission due to a possible leak, she employs the help of Bryce to escort and protect Kincaid on the way to The Hague.
They hitchhike to a ferry to Amsterdam, where Sonia is being held. Kincaid reveals he killed Kurosawa, having spotted him by chance while on another job. As Bryce bemoans his failures at a beer stand, Dukhovich's men attack Kincaid. Bryce has a change of heart and helps Kincaid escape, but is captured. As Dukhovich's men torture him, Kincaid arrives and rescues Bryce. After settling their differences, they battle their way to The Hague, arriving just in time for Kincaid to testify. Dukhovich tried to hire him to assassinate a political rival, but Kincaid witnessed Dukhovich carry out a mass execution, and uploaded the massacre photos to a secret FTP site that he provides to the court.
Dukhovich admits guilt, then resorts to his backup plan: bombing the court to escape. Foucher leaves the court before the bombing; Roussel deduces he was the traitor. In the confusion after the bomb goes off, Dukhovich seizes a gun to kill Kincaid, but Bryce jumps in the path of the bullet. Wounded, he tells Kincaid to stop Dukhovich. Foucher and Roussel struggle, then Bryce fatally shoots Foucher to save Roussel. Kincaid pursues Dukhovich to the roof, where he attempts to escape by helicopter. Kincaid destroys the helicopter and kicks Dukhovich off the roof to his death for shooting Bryce.
Kincaid is rearrested for his various crimes, but breaks out of Belmarsh Prison several months later so he and Sonia can celebrate their anniversary in the bar in Honduras where they first met. As a wild bar brawl breaks out around them, they kiss.
- Ryan Reynolds as Michael Bryce, a former triple A rated executive protection agent and CIA officer.
- Samuel L. Jackson as Darius Kincaid/Evans, one of the world's most notorious hitmen and Sonia's husband.
- Gary Oldman as Vladislav Dukhovich, the dictatorial President of Belarus.
- Salma Hayek as Sonia Kincaid, Darius's wife.
- Élodie Yung as Amelia Roussel, an Interpol agent and Michael's ex-girlfriend.
- Joaquim de Almeida as Jean Foucher, the French Assistant Director of Interpol, who is later revealed to be Dukhovich's inside man and second-in-command.
- Yuri Kolokolnikov as Ivan, Dukhovich's lead mercenary.
- Barry Atsma as Moreno, the lead prosecution lawyer.
- Tine Joustra as Renata Casoria, Director of Interpol.
- Kirsty Mitchell as Rebecca Harr, Kincaid's lawyer.
- Sam Hazeldine as Garrett, a National Crime Agency officer.
- Mikhail Gorevoy as Litvin, Dukhovich's lead defense lawyer.
- Richard E. Grant as Mr. Seifert, a drug addicted corporate executive and client of Bryce.
- Georgie Glen as ICC Lead Judge
- Chris Wilson as ICC Judge
In May 2011, David Ellison's Skydance Media acquired the action script The Hitman's Bodyguard written by Tom O'Connor. The script was among the top 2011 Black List of unproduced screenplays. While originally intended as a drama, the script underwent a "frantic" two-week rewrite to be remade into a comedy several weeks prior to filming.
On November 4, 2015, Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman were cast in the film, which Jeff Wadlow would direct for Millennium Films. Producers would be Mark Gill, John Thompson, Matt O'Toole and Les Weldon. On February 23, 2016, Élodie Yung and Salma Hayek were cast in the film, which Lionsgate would distribute in the United States. On March 9, 2016, it was reported that Wadlow had exited the film and Patrick Hughes signed on to direct the film.
Principal photography began on April 2, 2016 in London, Amsterdam and Sofia. Originally, just one scene was to be shot in Amsterdam but when Hughes visited the location and saw its surroundings he decided to move some "London scenes" to the old inner city of Amsterdam.
The Hitman's Bodyguard grossed $75.5 million in the United States and Canada and $105.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $180.6 million, against a production budget of $30 million.
In North America, The Hitman's Bodyguard was released on August 18, 2017 alongside Logan Lucky, and was projected to gross $17–20 million from 3,350 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $8 million on its first day (including $1.65 million from Thursday night previews). It went on to open to $21.6 million, topping the box office. In its second weekend the film made $10.2 million, finishing first at the box office in what was the combined lowest-grossing weekend since September 2001. The film made another $10.2 million the following weekend, becoming the third film of 2017 to finish atop the box office for three straight weeks. However, while it made an estimated $12.9 million over the four-day Labor Day weekend, was again involved in a historically low weekend, as it was the worst combined holiday weekend since 1998.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 43% based on 218 reviews, and an average rating of 5.17/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Hitman's Bodyguard coasts on Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds' banter—but doesn't get enough mileage to power past an overabundance of action-comedy clichés." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score 47 out of 100, based on 42 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 80% overall positive score and a 57% "definite recommend".
Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a positive review and called it a pleasant late-summer surprise, writing: "The Hitman's Bodyguard is about as close to a live-action cartoon as you're likely to get this year... That's not a style that works much of the time... but in the hands of The Expendables 3 helmer Patrick Hughes—and more importantly, owing to the chemistry of stars Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds—it makes for a delightfully ridiculous screwball action comedy." Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers praised the cast, giving it 2.5 stars out of 4 and saying, "Reynolds and Jackson make this summer lunacy go down easy with their banter and bullet-dodging skills. They're the only reason that The Hitman's Bodyguard doesn't completely sink into the generic quicksand from whence it came."
In May 2018, it was announced that Reynolds, Jackson and Hayek were in early talks to reprise their roles for a sequel, titled The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, with plans to begin filming later in the year. Production on the sequel began in March 2019, with Frank Grillo joining the cast of the film.
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