The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard 4K UHD Blu-ray
Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson are back, and this time, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, and Morgan Freeman are in on the mayhem in The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard. Here's our review of the 4K UHD Blu-ray Combo Pack!
Unlicensed bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is forced to leave his sabbatical by hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) and his con-artist wife Sonia (Salma Hayek). Chaos and hilarity ensues. Also stars Antonio Banderas and Morgan Freeman. Directed by Patrick Hughes.
Chances are, you weren’t asking for a sequel to 2017's The Hitman’s Bodyguard, but you got one anyway. Given that, you might be shocked to hear that The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (who approved that mouthful of a title, anyway?) is actually a fun flick. It’s an over-the-top parody of every preposterous action film that passes for a blockbuster these days, and it’s far more entertaining to boot.
The first film succeeded mostly on the comedic chemistry between Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. For the sequel, we get more Michael Bryce and Darius Kincaid shenanigans, but we also get the addition of Salma Hayek, whose role in the first film was basically an extended cameo. As Darius’ insane wife Sonia, she fits right in with the sequel’s mayhem, showing off her surprising comedic skills. Reynolds once again plays the straight man to full effect, and both Jackson and Hayek get plenty of laughs at his expense.
If I’m being honest, I must admit that the film isn’t exactly an instant classic. The script is a little too tongue-in-cheek, and the over-the-top, Looney Tunes-like zaniness is a bit much, and that isn’t even considering the F-bombs being dropped every 15 seconds. The story and dialogue are both cheesy and non-sensical, with plot points that dismiss logic in favor of mindless action.
This isn’t the first film to take an outrageous, slapstick approach to the action genre, but the script doesn’t always deliver on the potential. The script’s shortcomings would have been a stumbling block for lesser actors, but here, we have some A-list actors who know how to improve the material. Their charisma and comedic instincts save this film from mediocrity.
The jokes hit at a machine-gun’s pace, but too many don’t quite land. The script could have benefited from more wit, instead of relying on profanity to be funny. It gets monotonous, except where Hayek is concerned. Her heavily-accented potty mouth is hilarious.
There’s actually a plot here, but it involves a cyberattack and the fall of civilization or something. Don’t give it much thought: it’s more of a means to an end. Instead, focus on how much fun the cast seems to be having, including Antonio Banderas as the hammy villain. Morgan Freeman shows up about halfway through the film, and he seems criminally underused, as does Banderas.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard tries to channel some Lethal Weapon, action-comedy energy, and that’s not a bad thing to aspire to. It isn’t quite as good as those films, but it is more kinetic, more profane, and more violent than those movies. Ultimately, it’s a fun film to watch on the weekend with beer and nachos. Keep your expectations low and enjoy it for what it is.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
The 4K disc offers a solid technical presentation. The video transfer is good, with some digital grain added, but the image focus is sometimes soft. Thankfully, the disc’s Dolby Vision and HDR provide a fantastic color palette. The daytime scenes tint yellow, and the exotic countryside presents lush, deep greens. The many dark, indoor scenes (including a nightclub, a bar, and a cave dungeon) show nice detail and some nice “pop” with reds and blues. All in all, a very good transfer.
The Dolby Atmos soundtrack is sharp and impressive. My speakers rattled with every explosion, and the subwoofer provided nice low-end. Clarity is excellent, and the score sounds rich across my setup.
The bonus features are mostly some promotional featurettes, but they provide some interesting looks at the making of the film. I strongly suggest not watching the special features before the feature film, obviously, as major plot points are shown.
The special features include:
“Ryan, Sam, Salma: One F’d Up Family” Featurette. Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, and Samuel L. Jackson all discuss the chemistry between their characters. Director Patrick Hughes also discusses the film. Running Time: 9:09
“Gone Soft: The New Michael Bryce” Featurette. Ryan Reynolds’ comedic prowess is praised by his director and co-stars. Running Time: 7:22
“Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard: #stuntlife” Feaurette. Stunt coordinator Adam Horton, director Patrick Hughes, stunt supervisor Greg Powell, and members of the cast discuss the film’s standout action pieces and stunts. Car chases, explosions, fistfights, and a exploding yacht are all featured. Even Morgan Freeman appears to enthusiastically discuss the stunts. Running Time: 7:47
“On the Set of Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” Featurette. Production designer Russell De Rozario walks us through the film’s intricate sets, which not only needed to match the film’s exotic locale, but had to withstand assorted gun battles and fist fights. It’s actually an interesting featurette, giving the viewer a rare glimpse at the attention to detail a production designer must bring to the set. Running Time: 4:02
Gag Reel. What can I say? They’re outtakes and bloopers. They’re fun to watch, obviously. And it seems like the cast really enjoyed being on the set. So there’s that. Running Time: 4:40
Theatrical Trailers. Two trailers, one for the first film, and one for the sequel, are included. Total Running Time: 4:41
Digital Copy. A code for a digital copy of the film, redeemable at services including VUDU and iTunes, is included. Lionsgate codes do not redeem through Movies Anywhere.
Release Date: August 17, 2021
Rating: R for strong bloody violence throughout, pervasive language, and some sexual content.
Running Time: 99 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio: English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Audio
Subtitles: Spanish, French, English SDH
MSRP: The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD of The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard will be available for the suggested retail price of $42.99, $39.99, and $29.96, respectively.