FlixChatter Review: Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

Happy Eclipse Day folks! Did you get outside and view it? It’s only partial eclipse where I live, but still pretty cool. Well, at least there’s something fun to do on a Monday. Well, as Summer season is almost coming to a close, I have to say it has been kind of a ho-hum Summer at the movies. There’s nothing that truly wowed me… even Chris Nolan’s Dunkirk which I was impressed with, didn’t really linger in my memory that much after all.

Well, this past week was unusual because I actually saw two new releases that were pretty similar, as in both are action comedies targeted to a similar audience. Well, here’s my quick thoughts on one of them…

I gotta say that in when the trailer of this came on w/ the famous Whitney Houston’s song spoofing The Bodyguard movie, I knew I had to see this. I knew it’ll probably be silly but I also couldn’t resist the pairing of Samuel L. Jackson (Kincaid) with post-Deadpool Ryan Reynolds (Bryce). So Reynolds plays the world’s top bodyguard who reluctantly takes a new client, a hit man (Jackson) who must testify at the International Court of Justice. So in the spirit of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and other countless road comedies genre, they must put their differences aside and work together to make it to their destination on time.

Despite the rather simple and yes, unoriginal premise, the movie did make me laugh… a lot. I always prefer Reynolds in comedies anyway and he’s pretty hilarious here against the more gregarious Jackson as they constantly hurl insults at each other. The pair have a good chemistry together and look like they had a blast making this. It’s not exactly a fresh buddy cop flick, but it’s got enough humor and fun action scenes for an entertaining escape at the movies. Salma Hayek though, is quite the scene-stealer as Jackson’s sexy-but-deadly wife Sonia.

The journey from London to Hague is marred with shenanigans as a bunch of cops and bad guys are hot on their trail. I thought director Patrick Hughes is pretty decent in filming the action scenes and car chases all over Europe. I especially enjoyed the Amsterdam car/boat/motorcycle chase that’s slightly reminiscent of a Bond/Bourne flick. Sadly, veteran actors in supporting roles (such as Gary Oldman and Richard E. Grant) are always criminally wasted in a film like this. Boy, Oldman’s been cashing out a lot lately, eh?

Given the R-rating, this film is quite violent and foul mouthed. There’s practically F-bombs in every dialog, which is excessive in my book. The plot is familiar but not completely silly. There is an amusing twist as to what happened to Bryce’s high-flying client, as well some philosophical themes to ponder, as Kincaid asked Bryce who’s more evil “…he who kills evil motherf******, or he who protects them?” Obviously each think one is more righteous than the other. I’d say this movie is still pretty fun to watch despite the usual clichés and inherent silliness, but not exactly one to rush to the theater to see.


Have you seen Hitman’s Bodyguard? Well, what did you think?

FlixChatter Review: THE NICE GUYS (2016)

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Almost 30 years ago Shane Black made a name for himself when he wrote the buddy cop action comedy hit Lethal Weapon. He instantly became one of the most sought-after writers in Hollywood and one of the highest paid too. But when a couple of the big action films he wrote (The Last Action Hero and The Long Kiss Goodnight) tanked at the box office, his career stalled for a few years. After the big success of Iron Man 3, he’s now back on the good graces of Hollywood executives.

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Set in 1977, a private eye named Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is hired by a young woman named Amelia (Margaret Qualley) to get some goons off her back. One of the goons happens to be another private eye named Holland March (Ryan Gosling). March is sort of a multi-tasking investigator, along with stalking on Amelia; he’s also investigating the death of a porn star. This porn star’s death led the two private eyes to believe it has something to do with Amelia but before they could talk to her, she disappeared.

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With the help of March’s precocious young daughter Holly (Angourie Rice), the dual set out to find Amelia and got involved in deep conspiracy involving some powerful people. That includes Amelia’s mom Judith (Kim Basinger) and a ruthless hit man named John Boy (Matt Bomer). Those wondering about Crowe & Basinger’s reunion since L.A. Confidential, well Basinger has only got about 5 minutes of screen time here. Sadly she has become one of those actresses whose roles keep getting smaller as they get older, it’s unfortunate because she’s good actress.

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I enjoyed the script by Black and co-writer Anthony Bagarozzi, the dialog is witty. Even though the plot were kind of predictable, it’s still fun seeing things unfold as I predicted. Fans of Black’s other films such as Lethal Weapon and The Last Boys Scout will be pleased with all the f-bombs and shootouts. Black kept the tone of the film very light, though people are getting shot, beat up and every character loves to drop the f-bombs. The film definitely has the feel of a 70s flick. I also enjoy the beautiful cinematography by Philippe Rousselot, he really captured the look and feel of L.A. in the 70s.

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The performances by the two leads were quite good and their chemistry worked well together. Crowe gained some weight to play this out of shape but tough private eye. He beats and shoots people without hesitation. I wasn’t sure if Gosling can do comedy but he’s very funny as the bumbling and cowardly private eye. I’m glad they didn’t make his character into some kind of an action hero, he’s a weak man but very resourceful.

Despite my high praises, I still think it’s an average film. It’s an entertaining action comedy, just not a great one like I thought it’s going to be. If you’re fans of 70s flicks, buddy cop action comedy or the two lead actors, then I think you’ll enjoy this film.

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Have you seen ‘The Nice Guys’? Well, what did you think?

FlixChatter Review: The Other Guys

It’s a super hot Saturday afternoon and all I wanted to do was cool off in a movie theater and watch a Summer popcorn flick! I saw the trailer when I posted it on the Mark Wahlberg’s spotlight post and I found it pretty funny. Well, I’m happy to report that the movie lived up to it and its surprisingly fresh rating on rotten tomatoes.

The Other Guys as it’s aptly called, is a reluctant buddy cop comedy of two guys who can’t be more different from each other. For as long as these two have been on the force, detectives Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) have always worshiped the best and most famous cops, known for their relentless ways to capture the bad guys, even if it cost the city $12 million in property damage involving a misdemeanor drug offense. The bad ass cops, played with glee by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson set up the hilarious opening sequence, full-throttle action and packed with ridiculous, logic-defying action sequences that’s fun to watch. But when their enormous ego and lack of common sense got the best of them, Hoitz got antsy to jump at the chance to fill the giant shoes that the two ‘city heroes’ left. That is when he’s able to persuade the happy-go-lucky, content-to-work-the-desk-job partner to join him. Wahlberg’s character was once a rising star whose colossal blunder he once made at the World Series for which made him the laughing stock of the whole precinct (and the entire city) and chained him to his desk job.

I’m not exactly a Will Ferrell fan, so I had no idea writer/director Adam McKay had worked with him several times previously: Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers. I can’t say if this is their best collaboration yet as I haven’t seen all of them, but I’d think it’s right up there. Ferrell is best when he’s playing it straight, such as in Stranger than Fiction, which I adore and wish he does more roles like this. Here, his deadpan delivery and mild-mannered persona was perfect and perfectly funny! He offered such a contrast to the macho, short-tempered Wahlberg that their loud banter delivered the biggest laughs. It’s amazing how the two could keep a straight face during the lion and tuna repartee, I wonder how many takes that took but it was destined to be a classic!

I’ve always liked Wahlberg even if his movies are hit and miss. He is hilarious here whilst still manage to deliver what we expect a Mark Wahlberg movie, plenty of bombastic action! He isn’t a natural comedian, but the script brings the best of his comic timing. That ballet dancing scene is a hoot, as well as when he was blatantly ogling Ferrell’s buxom wife Eva Mendes. The supporting performances aren’t bad, either. The always watchable Michael Keaton was terrific as the NYPD Captain, as did Steve Coogan adding his bursts of British sarcasm as the remorseless Bernie Madoff-like tycoon. Mendes’ chest did most of the acting again here, but that was really all that was requested of her.

I laughed from start to finish, and though I came in with pretty high expectation, I was still surprised by how much I enjoyed it! If I could nitpick however, the scenes between Ferrell and Eva where she sent her mother to talk to him was drawn out far too long. It’s just exasperating and pointless. I think the Eva scenes were funniest whenever Wahlberg’s around drooling over her. The timely plot involving Ponzi-scheme corporate corruption is a serious one, as the end credits made it out to be, but served with tongue firmly in cheek.

As this movie de-throned Inception from box office top spot this week, I’m sure I’m not the only one who saw this. Well, what did you think?