Both universally unloved by critics, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (hereinafter referred to as Hitman 2) is the sequel to The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Set four years after the original, Michael Bryce is in crisis. He fantasizes receiving the AAA Bodyguard of the Year trophy. Except, his license is suspended and he is in therapy. His father was the greatest bodyguard of all time and he is nothing but a disappointment. The therapist recommends a sabbatical, no bodyguarding, no guns. A vacation in Capri sounds nice. And, off we go, in an action spoof that never takes itself seriously. Granted, it’s been awhile since I’ve been in a theater, but the audience laughter was nearly non-stop.
The original received a 43% Rotten Tomatoes rating; Hitman 2 even lower at 33%. Yet, the early IMDb score of Hitman 2 is 7.0/10, similar to the original’s 6.9/10. When the first go-around makes $176.6 million, you get a second chance, especially when the stars click. In this case, a funny thing happens as Sonia Kincaid upstages the not-so-buddy team of Michael Bryce and Darius Kincaid. Consistent with their Deadpool/Shaft images, expect lots of profanity and graphic sexual references, as well as dead bodies. Notably, the whole affair is so far-fetched that it is more humorous than offensive. Still, no doubt many will be offended. One might say that Hitman 2 did not skimp on bloody make-up. I give the film 3.5 Gavels.
Darius Kincaid killed one target too many and now is in the hands of a man who wants revenge. His wife, Sonia, saves Michael Bryce from an attack on Capri to assist in the rescue of Darius. In liberating Darius, they kill an informant for Interpol. Interpol knows that Mafioso Aristotle Papadopolous plans to destroy the European economy so that Greece can take its rightful place of top of the world. But, can they really trust a disgraced bodyguard and a vicious hitman to find out what Papadopolous is up to? Will Bryce and Kincaid be able to work together without killing each other?
In my prior article, I referred to Ryan Reynolds (6 Underground) and Samuel L. Jackson (The Banker) as the new Danny Glover and Mel Gibson of Lethal Weapon fame. The intervention of Salma Hayak doesn’t allow them quite as much interplay as Michael and Darius. That’s not all bad. Sonia and Darius are a wild and crazy couple, think Lucy and Desi put into a criminal/irreverent setting seventy years in the future.
Released nationwide this week, Hitman 2 granted early viewing Friday. Why? My guess is word-of-mouth. The producers reasonably concluded that the critics would again be harsh, so why not give it a likely more favorable audience preview? Will it work? Given that AMC blocks off two seats adjacent to every group, the showing was very well attended. If laughter is a gauge, they made the right choice.
“Pity the fools who can’t appreciate the magnificent mayhem… the screaming, bustierre-busting glories of Salma Unleashed.” Movie Nation
“If there’s one film that could make you wish that all theaters had not only stayed shuttered after the pandemic but burned down, it’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.” Houston Chronicle
I didn’t like it as well as the original, but those around me sure did. Frank Grillo, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, and Gary Oldman didn’t add much. Overall, I’m somewhere between “magnificent mayhem” and “burn down the theaters.”