When last we saw ex-Triple A rated bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), he had succeeded in getting notorious hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) to the Hague to testify against a genocidal dictator (Gary Oldman). He had also taken a bullet for Darius, which is part of a bodyguard’s job. It would have been better to leave them both there.
As we pick up his story in THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD, Michael is daydreaming about regaining his certification from the bodyguard governing board, while also working through his issues with a less than enthusiastic therapist. Convinced by her that he should take a break from guns and from violence, he betakes himself to a ritzy spa. There his quest for inner peace is disrupted by Darius’ kick-ass con-artist wife, Sonia (Salma Hayak), who kidnaps him to help save Darius from the pickle in which he has landed.
Mayhem ensues. No flower stand is safe from cars barreling with blithe insouciance through quaint European streets. No dance club is safe from a shoot-out. No thug or bystander can avoid termination. No government is safe from having its underwater data grid hacked by a diamond-tipped drill wielded, virtually, by Greek billionaire Aristotle Papadopolous (Antonio Banderas in the gaucherie).
This is a script that brings nothing new to the action/comedy genre, and one that prefers to blow things up than to make sense. To be fair, it does have one or two good ideas (who doesn’t love a seatbelt fetish?), but it squanders the possibilities by repeating them until the magic is gone. Look no further than the running gag of Darius and Sonia trying to get pregnant whenever the mood strikes, and Michael’s discomfort at their, ahem, voluble enthusiasm. Not even the brio evinced by Hayak and Jackson can keep the fun going. At least for the audience.
Despite the continuing chemistry between Ryan’s staid Boy Scout and Jackson’s freewheeling anarchist, who, along with Hayak’s deadpan baby fever, get the best out of lackluster writing, the frenzy feels forced and oddly stagnant. It gives THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD a palpable air of desperation, which in turn makes the viewer cringe and pray for it all to be over soon.