The Hitman’s Bodyguard 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
I’m traditionally not a huge fan of the action-comedy hybrid genre. Inevitably, the action-comedy struggles to find an identity and ends up being either a boring action film or an unfunny comedy. So I didn’t have much hope for THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD, even with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. But I was pleasantly surprised that the film has its own identity and somehow managed to take the best parts from the comedy and action genres without losing sight of what it really is.
Michael Bryce (Reynolds) is on top of the world; he runs one of the most trusted personal protection companies in the world, he has a nice house, nice car and nice things to go along with his beautiful FBI agent girlfriend, Amelia (Elodie Yung). But two years after losing a high profile target to an assassination, Michael isn’t doing so well. Instead of protecting wealthy clients, he’s protecting low life lawyers. After Amelia barely manages to protect famed hitman, Darius (Jackson), she enlists the help of Michael to escort Darius to court, where he will be testifying against the international criminal Vladislov (Oldman). It turns out that Michael and Darius have a long history and really don’t like each other, which is where most of the comedy comes in. There’s also a hilarious, foul-mouthed turn from Salma Hayek as Darius’s girlfriend.
THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD works as both an action film and a comedy, but really excels when the two genres are blended seamlessly. This is best displayed toward the end of the film when a frustrated Michael is getting a few drinks while a gang of bad guys are blowing things up trying to kill Darius. It’s a simple scene, but it’s funny, lighthearted and showed that no one is taking themselves too seriously. The humor is also helped by the naturally charming Ryan Reynolds, who is basically playing himself here. That’s normally an insult, but Reynolds is easy to like and root for and it would be hard for another actor to carry as much of the film as he did. Samuel L. Jackson has less of a burden, but he yells at the appropriate times and drops plenty of f-bombs to appease his fans.
The film isn’t without its faults. As with most action-comedies, the action scenes are boring at times. Director Patrick Hughes does his best to spice things up with some creative direction, but I found them to get in the way of the comedy. But to his credit, the action sequences push the film forward and never drag on too long. But as much as I enjoyed the action or seeing Reynolds crack one-liners, the best part of the film is the fact it doesn’t take itself too seriously. This has a very tongue-in-cheek feel to it and everyone involved knows that the film is meant to be fun not make a greater point on life.
I wasn’t expecting much from THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD, so maybe my review reflects my surpassed expectations. But I had a lot of fun watching Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson beat up bad guys and rip on each other for two hours. Somehow, Hughes managed to make an effective action-comedy was both funny and exciting.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: I believe THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD was sourced from a 4K master and it shows in the video presentation. Colors are rich and vibrant and details show through in almost every scene. To be fair, the Blu-ray is also impressive, but the 4K takes things up a notch, specifically with the finer details. I noticed this in Michael’s apartment, in simple things like textures in the backgrounds and in facial features during close-ups. THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD looks great on 4K.
Audio: The great Dolby Atmos track from the Blu-ray is also found on the UHD.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but it does include a Blu-ray, which has the following special features:
Commentary with Patrick Hughes: Hughes gives a nice commentary, offering several funny anecdotes and keeps it moving along nicely.
Deleted Scenes (5:01), Extended Scenes (3:21), Alternate Scenes (3:24): These are separated on the disc, but it’s hard to distinguish when watching them.
Featurettes (29:35): There are three featurettes included, all of which kind of cover the same, generic, making-of type material. They play out like ads for the film.