On 14 June 2021, cinema’s most toxic bromance becomes a deadly ménage à trois, as Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek (reluctantly) join forces for The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.
Here’s everything you need to know…
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard release date: 14 June 2021
It shouldn’t happen to a bodyguard. But if you saw The Hitman’s Bodyguard back in 2017, you’ll know that it invariably does.
As a triple-A-rated executive protection agent, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) was no stranger to the occupational hazards of life as a punchbag, fire blanket and human shield.
But when Bryce was tasked with escorting the world’s deadliest/sweariest assassin, Darius Kincaid, to give evidence in a war crimes trial, these mismatched frenemies bickered and fought so much, it was a close-run thing as to who disliked Kincaid more – the assassins on his trail or the man paid to protect him from them.
Now, as The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard arrives at ODEON on 14 June, here’s all the intel you need on this hilarious, action-packed sequel.
Burnt out after too many beatdowns, this sequel finds Bryce on a therapist’s couch, spilling his demons from the first movie and getting signed off from the day job.
His bodyguarding sabbatical gets off to a good start, too: tropical island, spa slippers, self-help book, Britney Spears on his headphones. “I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner,” Bryce muses from his sun lounger. “It’s as if the world has been waiting for me to make this change.”
But, when gunmen perforate his beach resort, Bryce realises that a face from his past has hijacked his me-time. Darius Kincaid might be an f-bombing sociopath – but that’s nothing compared to his wife, Sonia: a Latina fireball and con artist whose rants practically scorched off our eyebrows in the first movie.
So when Sonia enlists Bryce to rescue her husband and stop a cyberattack by deranged criminal Aristotle Papadopolous, resistance is futile – even though the temporarily unlicensed bodyguard is forbidden from using firearms.
“The first film explored the horror of Bryce being trapped on a road trip with Darius,” director Patrick Hughes told Collider. “This sequel brings Sonia along for the ride. She was only onscreen in the first film for two and a half minutes and stole the show, so it was a no-brainer to bring her front and centre for the sequel.”
Ryan Reynolds is shaping up as the face of post-lockdown cinema. Once you’ve dropped off the kids at The Croods 2, switch screens to The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard to watch the Deadpool star in the motormouth form of his life.
His comic beats are impeccable as ever, but playing against Samuel L. Jackson’s livewire hitman, it’s fascinating to see Reynolds take the role of a scaredy-cat straight-man. “I don’t want to be the guy that’s intermittently clenching his jaw muscles, squinting and kicking ass,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “I like it to feel nasty and real and like my character maybe just peed a little bit. Like it would be in real life – terrifying.”
Nobody needs reminding of Jackson’s solid-gold filmography.
You could wallpaper a Hollywood mansion with the five-star clippings for his roles in Spike Lee’s seminal movies, as Bible-spouting assassin Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction or as eyepatched S.H.I.E.L.D guvnor Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But as an actor who’s only fleetingly aired his comedic talents, it’s clear Jackson is having the time of his life in this second run-out as a “homicidal nutbag” who leaves a trail of corpses and insurance claims. As the actor told Google Play: “I like Darius’s fearlessness and his love for life.”
Yet it’s the rogue element of Salma Hayek that elevates The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard to must-see status.
It’s a quarter-century since the Mexican-American actress slunk into our hearts as the undead exotic dancer in From Dusk Till Dawn. Now, as Sonia, she’s a force of nature who’ll stop at nothing.
Just ask Reynolds: “In the film, I’m slapped in the face twice by Salma and once by Samuel,” he told Variety. “For the record, it was Salma who didn’t pull the punches. Not even once. I can still feel the sharp sting of her tiny hand working its way into my soft Hollywood cheekbones…”
A movie is only as good as its supporting cast, and the ‘Hitman’s’ franchise is shaping up as a magnet for megastars.
Having set the bar for drug-hoovering degenerates in 1987’s Withnail And I, Richard E. Grant now reprises his role from the original movie as the substance-abusing corporate snob, Mr Seifert.
Then there’s Antonio Banderas in full-on villain mode as Aristotle Papadopolous: all purring menace and bouffant hairpiece, plotting a cyber attack that will leave Europe aflame. Morgan Freeman is a wildcard, with the Shawshank Redemption legend playing a role so top-secret that we daren’t breathe a word.
Finally, look out for Purge star Frank Grillo as a gruff Interpol agent. “He does not want to be in Europe,” Grillo told Collider. “I’m forced to go there and kinda wrangle up the guys and the girls and force them to help me bust this crime ring. It’s basically a cat-and-mouse chase film. It’s better than the first movie… and there’s a lot of big explosions!”
Fast and funny, with force-ten chemistry between three wildly different leads, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is the action-comedy you’ve been waiting for. If you’re a fan of speedboat chases, moped smash-ups, superyachts going boom, collateral damage in far-flung locations and shootouts (so many shootouts) then what are you waiting for?
Meanwhile, if you need a final nudge, perhaps Hughes sums it up best. “This movie is an insane road trip across the Amalfi Coast,” says the director, “as our heroes try to save Europe from the maniacal Papadopolous, all while not killing each other. The tone of this sequel is off-the-chain, pangolin-sh*t insane…”
Gear up for the action-comedy of the year
With a myODEON membership you can enjoy a faster, better booking experience, pay less with our Saver ticket, receive exclusive member offers, and so much more.Sign up for free