REVIEW: “THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD” (2017) LIONSGATE

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So what’s this movie about? Well it’s about a guy Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), who used to run a Triple AAA Protection Service before he lost a big-time client Kurosawa (Tsuwayuki Saotome), who was murdered after boarding a plane and while in the ‘security’ of Bryce. Flash-forward to two years later and we see Michael’s business failed in a big way, now having become a personal bodyguard for low-end, eternally coked-out paranoid players. Now being forced by ex-girlfriend/agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung) to transport an important ‘witness’ to The Hague, Netherlands to testify against a murderous Belarus dictator (ring any bells anyone?) Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), only to discover when he arrives that star witness is none other than Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) the world’s most deadly assassin, who is only doing this in exchange for his wife Sonia’s (Salma Hayek) freedom. Now with half of Eastern Europe hot on their heels, Bryce is discovering that being the bodyguard of a hit-man turned informant is no easy task. And viola’ ladies and gentlemen – that is how we have “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”.

While the story sounds interesting, it plays out in a pretty typical and predictable way, not that I should have expected much more as after all, it is billed as a action/comedy film. But all predictability aside, the story does get the job done. Yes, you’ll be able to figure out how the film will end within the first 30 minutes or so, but truly in the scope of all that’s going on, it’s not all that important, because it’s all about the journey to that very predictable, albeit quite fun, entertaining and satisfying ending.

Ryan Reynolds on the other hand is, once again, cast as the somewhat fussy do-gooder who’s in over his head and constantly put upon, but manages to pull through because he tries really, really hard! The results are pretty fun though and the chemistry between Jackson and Reynolds is very spot on throughout the film, while the storyline between Michael and Amelia is well..boring, the one between Darius and Sonia is on a whole other level and they may just win the ‘crazy movie couple of the year’ award. Sadly the rest of the cast doesn’t really hold up as well as it’s leading men. Gary Oldman is very much here for the paycheck, as Belarusian President (cough) Dictator, while Salma Hayek is given near nothing to do as Kincaid’s incarcerated wife, though she makes her mark in her few scenes. Elodie Yung’s character does have a little more bearing on the plot, but her early-onscreen promise to be noted as a capable Interpol agent is set aside so she can be honored with the role of the proverbial last act love prize. *sigh

As formulaic as ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ is, it’s light – maybe even too light for all the blood-splatter that takes place – but it never insults its audience by say, trying to even begin to explain why Samuel L. Jackson can take a bullet to the leg then jump a multi-story building like it’s nothing. It’s can be dumb but it never makes you feel dumb for watching it. The movie doesn’t take itself seriously and I was perfectly fine with that because it’s was more than enteraining to watch.

Grade: C+
@pegsatthemovies

 

Media Review Screening ~ Wednesday, August 9, 2017 ~ Courtesy of Lionsgate Film

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” will be in theatres nationwide on Friday, August 18, 2017

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+++REVIEW ~ “DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES+++

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darn_of_the_planet_of_the_apes-intl_posterIf I’ve learned anything by watching movies, it’s to never have huge expectations for anything, especially Blockbuster season.  While I did like this movie, for the first 15 minutes, I almost felt as though I could be watching a foreign film as it was all subtitles for the language the apes speak…and it was kinda fun.

I’m sure most already know the basic overview of the movie.  It picks up where the last one left off.  Most of the human population has now died off from the man-made ‘Simian Flu’ and the world has moved on to being occupied by a large ape population. Or so we think. This is where the movie got a bit cliched for me.  The apes have the first 15-20 min. of the movie all to themselves as we see how they live now, in the forest they escaped to previously, with “Caesar” (Andy Serkis) being their leader. A conversation ensues between some of the apes about how they haven’t seen human’s in 10 years or so. Lo and behold within SECONDS of that conversation..who shows up???  a human!!! “Carver” (Kirk Acevedo) then does what..oh yeah..he shoots an ape. And so it goes..the beginning of plot where we all know what is going to happen as “Malcolm” (Jason Clarke), “Ellie”(Keri Russell), “Alexander”(Kodi Smit-McPhee) and “Koba” (Toby Kebbell -whom I loved as an actor since RocknRolla but sadly he’s all covered up as an ape) all show up along with Caesar, to stop any violence from further happening.  See the humans are there to try and get the dam that is located in the apes forest, working so they can have power. They strike a deal and just like as with so many deals that have been struck over time, it doesn’t pan out the way it’s supposed to. Surprise! Surprise!

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Just as Apes and Humans are not supposed to get along here, there are some ‘human-friendly’ apes and some ‘ape-friendly’ humans, who are both there to ensure that the day will be saved. There is not supposed to be any ‘ape on ape’ violence either. But Koba, an ape who was horribly mis-treated in labs by humans, absolutely hates humans and will do anything to make the other apes believe this. And sadly he does.  But we have “Dreyfus”(Gary Oldman), who is the human version of Koba and believes all apes are trying to kill us.  And the plot goes exactly as you think it will. A wrongly started War ensues when the apes get ahold of guns, but the truth has to come out and does.  There are no surprises in this plot.  One little part I found really funny, the apes are running in the now-defunct old BART system and comes up to some turnstiles, while they are apes and can leap-frog over them etc..one ape actually goes thru the turnstile like a human. I found that incredibly funny! Probably just me! ha!

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To wrap it up.. the movie is visually quite stunning, when they go to close-ups of the apes, there is no question in your mind that they are real. This is not the Roddy McDowell costume of the 70’s, though I did love those.  🙂  The story-line also gives off a few big, true-to-heart messages. The major one being, there is both good and bad in everything and pretty much every species, and no matter what, you give a species that can operate machinery a gun, and they will use it not only against you, but most likely against their own also.  In case anyone hasn’t figured it out, we are a destructive species.

Grade: C+

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GRADING SCALE: A = OSCARWORTHY; B = ABOVE AVERAGE~MUST SEE; C= AVERAGE~SHOULD SEE; D = DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY; F = YEAH..NO DON’T SEE THE MOVIE.. ( + OR – ) GIVES IT A BIT UP OR DOWN