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Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)::rating::2::rating::2

I won’t go so far as to say Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is a garbage movie. Actually, wait–yes I will. Sorry, my ability to coherently assemble my thoughts has grown lax today. And I’m pretty drunk right now. Buzzed is about the only way to survive the soul-withering onslaught of the oddly worded Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, which wins exactly one star for every apostrophe in its title.

As the sequel to The Hitman’s Bodyguard–which was itself about one step above taking a frisbee straight to the Nutter Butters–the filmmakers somehow combine the globetrotting action of 007, the numbnuts banter of the Fast and Furious scrapheap, and just a subtle hint of cat pee on old carpet. It’s particularly disheartening to watch a talented cast trying to rescue the movie from itself–not unlike the sight of Gilligan scooping water out of a leaking bamboo raft. By the end, the all-star players have drowned in clichés and stale action scenes, whilst I have thoroughly drowned in a bottle of Seagram’s 7.

There’s a passage in The Seven Pillars of Wisdom that says…um, what the hell was I talking about? Oh, yeah–this movie is pure ass. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’s kicks off a smidge after the events of the first film. I’ve seen Bodyguard Part 1, and the only thing I can tell you for sure is that some stuff happened. Anyway, it turns out that some Greek billionaire (Antonio Banderas, making an Inspector Gadget villain look subtle) wants to fry Europe’s power grid and put the entire continent in darkness. Or, you know, something like that.

Thank god for our plucky heroes! Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), the world’s foremost bodyguard, is still on the outs with his little guild of protectors. Darius Kincaid–that name sounds like it belongs to a mustache-twiddling soap opera villain–settles in for a long honeymoon with Sonia (Salma Hayek), his batshit-wacky new bride. Trouble strikes when Ol’ Darius (Samuel L. Jackson) gets kidnapped by some goons and sends Sonia to Bryce for help. Or does he? This whole clunky opening sequence makes Three’s Company look like Downton Abbey.

Naturally, massive screenwriting contrivances will eventually pit Bryce and the Kincaids against Banderas’ Greek-Mexican tycoon. That means lots of splattering squibs, spraying grey matter, and cornball one-liners. That also means we get a torrent of scenes in which Jackson and Reynolds scream at each other, while Hayek screams at both of them. Occasionally, two cops (Caroline Goodall and Frank Grillo) join in the shouting, and I guess this is what passes for entertainment. All this hollering might be sobering me up, and that ain’t good.

Hitman’s Body’s Guard’s Wife’s does a thorough job of pissing away its big-name cast. Few leading actors pull off the combo of good-looking and funny with the underrated skill of Reynolds, but even he looks like a deer in headlights with this tsunami of horseshit. Jackson seems to be stuck in neutral, flinging out f-bombs and coasting through flat line-readings like he can’t wait to get back to the golf course. Why in the name of itty-bitty titty sprinkles does he take roles like this? Is there a mountain of debt we don’t know about? I ask this question out of deep concern: What is in his wallet?

One of my favorite things is to make a fresh drink and listen to the ice cubes crackling in the glass. It’s such a perfect little moment, I almost hate to ruin it by drinking anything. Almost. What—I can’t end this review without talking about the movie a little more? Fine. Have to your way, Your Majesty. Bodyguard’s is an absolute ordeal to endure, even at 100 minutes. Plenty of movies have done this kind of thing better, I just can’t think of them right now. The combination of booze and bad movies makes Toddy a dull boy. Ask me again when you’re older.

100 min. R. For Repugnant.

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