Posted on September 8, 2017
A long, long time ago during the Cold War, I was stationed at a listening post on an airbase in rural Italy. We lived on the economy where no one spoke English and there was no entertainment we didn’t make for ourselves. The base had no NCO club but it did have a small movie theater.
Movies would come in six months after they opened in the States, stay Wednesday through Sunday and then leave forever. I saw Terminator and Aliens there. I also saw Dr. Detroit (40% RT) and loved it.
When you are starved for entertainment, the bar drops like beauty requirements at closing time. Any diversion will do. The only movie I can remember seeing there that I didn’t like was the Invaders From Mars remake and even that was better than sitting at home watching Knot’s Landing reruns on VHS.
The reverse is also true, of course. The more entertainment you have, the more discerning you become. This often leads people who watch movies for a living, critics, to develop a rarefied taste in movies that leads them to overlook things that are merely good.
Hitman’s Bodyguard is not innovative or ground breaking, but it’s a lot of fun, and I almost missed it because it has a 39% rating on RT. That’s right, the critics are saying this movie is worse than Dr. Detroit!
If you look at the rotten reviews, you’ll see the same thing over and over again: “There’s nothing new here.” Yeah? There’s nothing new in every RomCom ever made but some of them are pretty damned enjoyable.
So, yes, the plot is a retread to every “We have to get this witness to the church on time” thriller ever made. That’s not the point. The plot is not the point in this kind of movie. The point is the interplay between Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, two of the fastest talking satyrs in movies today. And that is where the movie pays off.
The set pieces are fun to watch but it’s the comedy that drives this film. Anyone who went into the theater expecting John Wick 3, should have their expectations engine checked. This movie is a straight up comedy from beginning to end and it pays dividends on that score.
Most times, I figure the IMDB (7.1) rating is the one most likely to have been gamed by bots, but in this case, it’s the correct one. The RT score is the one gamed by critics who have seen too many movies this summer.
Go see it. Have some fun. Summer isn’t over until we say it’s over.