The Hitman’s Bodyguard was one of 2017’s success stories: an original, Black Listed script that survived a last-minute genre change—from drama to action comedy—to become a breakout hit, amassing over $176 million against a $30 million budget, and it helped cement Ryan Reynolds’ as an action star beyond Deadpool—though he arguably does the Deadpool schtick whether he’s in the mask or not. Now comes the sequel, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard—ugh, the PUNCTUATION—which brings back Reynolds as Cool Guy, Samuel L. Jackson as “Samuel L. Jackson”, and Salma Hayek as “The Girl One”. I remember seeing The Hitman’s Bodyguard, but for the life of me I cannot remember any character names. That’s not the point, I guess, since everyone is pretty much playing a spin on their public persona anyway. Reynolds is the fast-talking slick guy, Jackson is an amalgamation of all his action characters, and Hayek is the bombshell with a sense of humor.
The first trailer for The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is fine. The dynamic of Reynolds-Jackson-Hayek is pretty much what sold the first movie, and it appears to still work four years later. I’m seriously starting to question movies and TV shows that use therapy as a setup where the punchline is that Big Tough Guys don’t need therapy, they just need to Get Back In The Game (see also: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), but I guess we as a culture aren’t ready to unlearn that stereotype yet. But I do appreciate that this time they’re giving Hayek more to do. More people in general should give Salma Hayek more to do. She is a way better actress than she’s ever been given credit for, and she is also way funnier than she gets credit for. I feel like there was a moment with Frida where everyone went, “Oh yeah, she IS a good actress,” but then promptly forgot until Beatriz At Dinner (also a 2017 movie). Other than that, this looks like the solid brand of action comedy we’ve come to expect from Reynolds. We’ll be getting a lot of it this summer, between this in June and Free Guy in August. Here’s a guy who found his lane and is sticking to it.