In Brief: I rarely give a movie a zero rating. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is the very definition of bad and deserves a zero.

Let’s start with Morgan Freeman. He has been the spark that has made many an iffy movie into a gem. So know a film is really, really bad when a co-starring Freeman can’t save the movie.

Freeman has a small but important part in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. It is a sequel to the 2017 flick, The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson played Michael Bryce and Darius Kincaid. Salma Hayek was cast as Kincaid’s wife.

To bring you up to speed on their story, Bryce is a formerly AAA rated bodyguard trying to get his top rating back. In the first film, fate intervenes and he gets hired to protect hitman, Kincaid so he can testify about the crimes of a dictator at the International Criminal Court. The testimony comes with a price. Kincaid’s wife has to be released from prison.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard continues their story badly. Make that horribly, awfully, incoherently badly. And that’s me being nice.

The plot picks up with Bryce having a bodyguard crisis. His psychologist tells him to quit thinking about guns and to quit using guns. He vows to not use them and goes on a sabbatical. That’s where Kincaid’s wife, Sonia grabs him to save Kincaid.

They’re on their honeymoon and he’s disappeared.

Of course gunplay follows. You’re supposed to think Bryce’s not wanting to use weapons to solve the disappearance crisis and the other problems encountered by him, Sonia and Kincaid is funny.

It’s not.

This setup brings the three lead players into a conflict with a Greek tycoon. Antonio Banderas gets the nod as bad guy, Aristotle Papadopolous. He is threatening to destroy the European Union because it has issued sanctions on his country.

Or something like that. Even that early in the movie the yawns will start and your eyelids will get heavy. If the stereotypical gunplay, car chases and explosions galore weren’t so noisy, you’d likely fall asleep.

The original film had some fun buddy movie moments. I liked it and gave it a very high recommendation. Reynolds and Jackson clicked and their off-kilter relationship provided some decent laughs. No laughs are found here and none of the characters have any sort of chemistry.

The love scenes between Jackson and Hayek are embarrassing. They have a staged, forced feel and you don’t buy for a second that the two actors are in love. The scenes are so badly done that I’m not sure they even like each other.

All through the movie you keep thinking Reynolds, Jackson, Hayek, Banderas and Freeman have to be doing this for the money.

Instead of dialogue that matters or is creatively funny, director Patrick Hughes — who directed the first movie — and the original film’s writer, Tom O’Connor and two first-time writers, Brandon and Phillip Murphy pack their script with F-bombs. While all the characters fall victim to what these writers call “dialogue,” a potty-mouthed, Hayek gets the worst treatment.

I suspect many of the language-packed scenes are filler to extend the movie to a 90-minute-plus length. Delete those scenes and you have maybe an hour of material. An hour isn’t long enough to be a real movie.

Not that any of that matters. The other reviews you’ll see of this movie will be inline with mine. In over 30-years I’ve seen a lot of really bad movies. Most of the time a film that’s awful will get a one or a two on my zero-to-five scale. I can count on one-hand the number of zeros I’ve given.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard gets a zero. It’s that bad.

Director: Patrick Hughes
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson, Antonio Banderas, Morgan Freeman, Frank Grillo

Rated R for heavy language, lots of violence and mature themes. I say mature themes even though this movie, graphic as it is, is not all that mature. Anyone can spew f-bombs. Few can write good dialogue. The writers of this one didn’t. The worst movie of the year. Give it a zero on my o to 5 scale.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard can be seen in some theaters in the Portland/Vancouver area.

Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.

He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.


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