Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard has been torn apart by critics ahead of its cinema release next week, with reviewers branding it as “nonsense”.
The movie is a sequel to 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which was a surprise box office hit, taking in nearly $177m (£125m) globally.
The new film sees Samuel L Jackson, Salma Hayek and Ryan Reynolds reprise their roles and Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas as new additions to the cast.
In the first movie, Reynolds starred as a bodyguard who is tasked with protecting the life of his enemy, a hitman played by Jackson.
The sequel sees the bodyguard, the hitman and his wife (Hayek) going up against a psychopathic billionaire (Banderas), whose evil plan threatens to leave Europe in disarray.
Many critics were unimpressed with the new film, with Variety’s Owen Gleiberman writing: “It’s so over-the-top it’s an insult to the concept of having a top.”
He added: “So is it, you know, fun? At times it is; at others it’s exhausting. Let’s call the whole thing fun-exhausting… The story scarcely pretends to add up to anything plausible or logical, and the ‘relationships’ often feel like they’ve been shaken and stirred in a blender of comic-book nonsense.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s John Defore said: “Screenwriters Tom O’Connor, Phillip Murphy and Brandon Murphy display no interest in how credible characters – even cartoonishly exaggerated comic ones – might really behave under circumstances like these, which wouldn’t be so bad if the movie were funnier. But its occasional laughs drown in a sea of action-comedy tropes that have been stale for decades. These actors deserve much better, and so do their fans.”
The headline for The AV Club’s review, meanwhile, was: “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is so atrocious, it makes the original look like a classic.” The site’s critic AA Dowd said that “even by action-comedy standards, the villain’s plan is pure nonsense”.
He wrote: “The film keeps goofing on the gags of the original, which again might be funny if, well, the goofs were funny.”
Deadline’s Pete Hammond was not keen either, writing a review headlined: “Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L Jackson & Salma Hayek valiantly try to save frenetic action comedy from itself.”
However, he did add: “As escapist summertime fodder, and a reason to chomp down some popcorn, you could do a lot worse. I only wish it was a lot better. Nevertheless, this dynamic trio gives it their all, are guaranteed a nice payday and accordingly fire on all cylinders. For those who want to submit to this brand of mayhem, our stars make it more fun than it should be.”
Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is in cinemas on 14 June.