Described as “The Good, The Bad, and the Batshit cray,” the ‘Hitman’s Bodyguard’ sequel is determined to steal your enthusiasm once again.
Expectations are a monster. When you spend 10 years obsessing over a franchise, and you’re promised that Infinity War will result in a culmination of everything you love, the anticipation you bring into the theater can barely be contained by an IMAX auditorium. A miracle is required for that film to meet your pent-up presumption. On the other hand, if you walk in with a DGAF attitude, that movie has the potential to appear even better than you imagined. The result can be underserved praise or a pleasant surprise.
I had some pretty damn low expectations sitting down to The Hitman’s Bodyguard. For me, the action buddy concept had run its course by the ’90s. Despite the occasional reappearance of Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Nice Guys), my patience for the juxtaposition between bullets and broad humor was practically nil. The same could be said for Samuel L. Jackson‘s schtick.
Well, dammit, it turns out that I was primed for a good time. The Hitman’s Bodyguard will never be uttered alongside Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, or Bad Boys. Neither the script nor the violence reaches the heights of buddy action genius, but the charisma between its two disgraced assassins is enough to ensure a good time at the movies. You simply cannot dismiss the devilish draw of Ryan Reynolds.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard was a box office phenomenon, raking in $75 million domestically and over $100 million globally. Dang. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but that success is still a bit of a surprise. Was it the result of lingering Deadpool enthusiasm? Maybe. Released towards the end of August, with very little competition surrounding the film, those dollars could simply be attributed to a starving summer audience still eager to consume as the season winds down. (This is a prime slot for The Equalizer 2 to slay this year.)
Whatever the case, while The Hitman’s Bodyguard faded from the online conversation, Millineum Films took notice. There could be a franchise here. The Hollywood Reporter brings news out of Cannes that the studio is scrambling to bring the team back together. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard will double down on the apostrophe and will presumably focus on Ryan Reynolds’ protection of Salma Hayek.
The screenplay hasn’t even been finalized yet, nor has the casting, but the idea of bringing a little more attention to Hayek is the smart move. As the mafioso puppet master pulling the strings from her jail cell in the original film, Hayek stole whole chunks of the movie from Reynolds and Jackson. We’ve seen her kick serious ass in Everly, and her character could easily dominate the dolts driving the action of the first film. Keep her from the damsel-in-distress mode, and you’ve got a good thing going here.
The studio certainly knows how to market to its audience. Listed in the Cannes market catalog as “The Good. The Bad. And the Batshit cray,” The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard appears to be embracing the absurdity of its very existence. In a world where we’re preparing for more Rambos, Expendables, Mechanics, and Olympus Has Fallens, we have no reason to deny The Hitman or his Wife.