Take a hotshot bodyguard dedicated to his job, on the cusp of victory from defending a major client, only to see said client suffer from a headshot at the very last moment. The bodyguard’s life spirals out of control, as he finds himself alienated from the industry due to his failure.
His relationship with his girlfriend, whom he accuses of leaking information on said dead client deteriorates, and two years later, he finds himself protecting B level scum and low lifes. Gone are his entourage of support bodyguards, and all he has now is… basically nothing.
But there is a moment of hope, as a traitor within Interpol means that the ex-girlfriend must recruit him to deliver an incarcerated hitman to Hague, to have him testify against a Russian despot. Weave in elements of honor, brotherhood, love, loyalty and some rather intense death scenes, and the end result is a fulfilling road trip that reminds audiences how buddy cop movies, from Lethal Weapon and 48 Hours, used to be.
And if you believe that motherf***ing load of lies, then you are one gullible motherf***er, you stupid son of a bit*h.
Maybe that was the pitch the studio first heard, but when you have Ryan Reynolds as the hotshot and Samuel L “My-middle-name-is-motherf***ing* Jackson as the hitman, that is not the movie you are paying to see.
No, you want to see the everyman, “average” Joe bro Reynolds face off against the foul-mouthed rotten piece of crap Jackson, as they get on each other’s nerves while trying not to kill each other, as they make their way to Hague while being pursued by a group of mercenaries.
Having Elodie Yung as the ex-girlfriend, Roussel, and Selma Hayak as the hitman’s wife, Sonia, on said journey is pure happenstance, as all the golden moments are when the two guys share the same scene. You want to be there when Bryce (Reynolds) realises that he has to defend and deliver Kincaid (Jackson). Treasure the moments when Kincaid bursts out laughing when Bryce becomes a whiny little Boy Scout, or when he fumbles trying to patch things up with Roussel.
For all of his roles, Reynolds actually plays the same goofy guy who happens to be good at something. He’s not playing a new character here and he doesn’t need to. This is the guy that audiences first knew in Two Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place, all the way through to Blade: Trinity and Deadpool.
The same goes for Jackson, who basically owns the term “motherf***er”. Yes, the expletive is used as a punchline over and over again, but you know what? What more can you ask for? Maybe this is Nick Fury before he lost his eye. Maybe this is the black man you don’t ever want to piss off, but these two are great to catch on screen.
While the movie is neither well written, nor the action well choreographed, much of its appeal lies in both leads. There is no grand twist, or effort to subvert. Someone in Hollywood decided that these two gents would work well in a movie, and Gary Oldman heard about it and offered to provide a cameo as the evil Russian dictator.
And to whoever it was who decided to get Jackson to sing in this movie – beer’s on me motherf***er cos that shit was f***ing awesome.
The end result is a hilarious, vulgar laden action flick that doesn’t try to be anything more. These two have hit the bullseye.