Archive for the ‘Patrick Hughes’ Category

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The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

Director: Patrick Hughes

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson, Antonio Banderas, Frank Grillo, Morgan Freeman, Richard E. Grant, Tom Hopper, Caroline Goodall, Rebecca Front

It’s always good to get the same director and writer back for the sequel. In this case director Patrick Hughes reunites with screenwriter Tom O’Connor for the even crazier sequel to 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard with 2021’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard reuniting the cast of the original: Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek and Samuel L. Jackson who star in what is best described as a globetrotting action movie on speed.

If viewers need pure and unadulterated escapism, then get to the cinema now and watch The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard with a supporting cast that includes Oscar winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) as Reynold’s character Michael Bryce’s mentor Senior and Oscar nominee Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory) as the evil Greek Villain Aristotle Papadopoulos.

This crazy foul-mouthed action films starts off with Michael Bryce having therapy for his trauma after realizing that he is a failed bodyguard and then soon Bryce is reunited with Sonia Kincaid, played with a mad cap brilliance by Salma Hayek on the Italian resort island of Capri. Sonia is desperate to find her estranged hitman husband the equally foul-mouthed and violent Darius Kincade played by Samuel L. Jackson who had no trouble reprising this role.

The violence and mayhem inducing trio are soon recruited by an Interpol agent Bobby O’Neil wonderfully played by the macho Italian-American actor Frank Grillo (The Grey, Captain America and the Winter Soldier) to stop psycho Greek shipping tycoon Papadopoulos played with a lavish sophistication by Banderas who is intent on destroying Europe’s complex digital infrastructure, causing the EU economy to collapse.

The action in this film is completely over the top, punctuated by some really cool plot points such as the continually battered Michael Bryce sending voice notes to his future self, wishing him a AAA day.

As the outlandish story jet sets around Italy from Portofino to Florence to Rome, the action sequences are crazy and unoriginal, even borrowing an exact series of action scenes from The Spy who Loved Me.

Besides the bad language and often incoherent script, the only other highlight are the brief scenes that Hayek and Banderas share together reigniting their blazing screen presence first developed in their 1995 film Desperado directed by Mexican director Robert Rodriguez. Then of course there is the ultra-funny Ryan Reynolds who is hilarious as the bruised Michael Bryce who appears to survive every assassination attempt under the Tuscan sun.

Catch this crazy spy spoof The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard only in cinemas now which gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10. This is classic Millennium studio content which sells box office tickets and attracts the big stars to their action adventure films.

Amsterdam Kill Run

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Director: Patrick Hughes

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Salma Hayek, Elodie Yung, Joaquim de Almeida, Sam Hazeldine, Rod Hallett, Richard E. Grant

Despite an international cast, director Patrick Hughes stylistically violent action film The Hitman’s Bodyguard becomes a warped buddie movie with Samuel L. Jackson starring as Darius Kincaid a foulmouthed assassin who unwillingly teams up with the executive protection agent Michael Bryce played by Canadian Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds.

After an explosive opening sequence in Manchester, England and then followed by an equally hectic sequence in Coventry, Bryce is tasked with transporting Kincaid intact to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands to testify against evil Belarussian dictator Vladislav Dukhovich played by Oscar nominee Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) complete with dodgy accent.

What was Gary Oldman thinking appearing in such a film?

Then again what was another Oscar nominee Mexican star Salma Hayek (Frida) thinking appearing as the equally foulmouthed Honduran jailbird Sonia Kincaid wife to Darius?

Even the two sequences with Hayek and Jackson are drizzled in bloodshed which is pitiful considering that it detracts from any potential onscreen chemistry.

Clearly all the stars involved in The Hitman’s Bodyguard did not act in this film to further their careers.

Then again, obviously the director of The Expendables 3, Patrick Hughes knows that his audience is not going to take the film too seriously if he packs The Hitman’s Bodyguard with excessive violence that the film becomes stylistically nauseating especially considering the events that are currently happening in 21st century Europe including multiple random acts of terror in every city from London to Barcelona.

The only redeeming feature of The Hitman’s Bodyguard besides the onscreen sparing between Reynolds and Jackson is the multi chase sequence in Amsterdam involving a ski boat, motorcycle and various vehicles along the Dutch canals.

Action fans will be satisfied as basically every city featured in The Hitman’s Bodyguard gets shot at and blown to smithereens from Manchester to Amsterdam to The Hague.

Unlike director Edgar Wright’s excellent Southern crime caper Baby Driver, the action sequences in The Hitman’s Bodyguard is repulsively manufactured and the violence is deliberately pornographic. The story is definitely thin on content which underscores the question why such normally bankable stars including Ryan Reynolds, Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson would consider acting in such an excessively violent film without a pause to think what the real cinematic message conveys: That violence is acceptable internationally?

Even the brief appearances by character actors Richard E. Grant and Portuguese star Joaquim de Almeida as a sinister Interpol agent do not redeem the narrative in any significant way.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard gets a film rating of 6.5 out of 10 and is big on action, violence, bloodshed and a massive body count (mostly of mean looking Belarussians) and low on nuanced content. Entertaining to an extent but way over done.

Old Dogs of War

The Expendables 3

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Director: Patrick Hughes

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Kellan Lutz, Kelsey Grammer, Dolph Lundgren, Victor Ortiz, Terry Crews, Glen Powell, Ronda Rousey, Randy Coutoure, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Randy Coutoure

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Sylvester Stallone reunites with all his 80’s action hero stars for a reminiscent action adventure film culminating in Zorro, the guy from Lethal Weapon along with Arnie, Indiana Jones and of course Rambo all fighting it out on the big screen.

The Expendables 3 is a fun action romp with lots of old and new cast members following on the success of the two previous films which basically gave a very flimsy premise for all these aged action stars to have an onscreen reunion amidst blowing everything in sight. The fact that all 3 Expendables movies is always released on South African screen during woman’s month is ironic to say the least. One has to satisfy the male population some how.

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Stallone plays Barney with Jason Statham as Lee Christmas who along with the rest of the Expendables cast add some new younger and savvy crew led by the cocky Smilee played by a buffed up Kellan Lutz who has come along way from the Twilight Days. Together both crews set out to destroy the evil and manic arms dealer Conrad Stonebanks, wonderfully played by Mel Gibson, a former Expendables co founder and now nefarious and ruthless criminal with a penchant for expensive art.

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As the action moves swiftly from all the usual international honeymoon spots like Mogadishu, Somalia to Armenia, (actually Bulgaria) in the film, The Expendables 3 does not pretend to be anything more than popcorn fodder with loads of action some witty one liners and a flimsy plot thrown in. Its also a fantastic chance for Wesley Snipes (The Blade Trilogy) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator) to redeem their forsaken Hollywood careers along with Antonio Banderas (The Legend of Zorro) and more importantly Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon).

The real question is what was Harrison Ford doing in a film like this? Surely he made enough money as Indiana Jones or is this a revival pending the next Star Wars Trilogy where Ford is rumored to reprise his role as Han Solo (40 years on!)

The Expendables 3 is great entertainment if viewers enjoy a bunch of old dogs of cinema blowing things up and getting the bad guys. There are some amazing stunts, the narrative is flimsy punctuated by some hilarious moments provided by Banderas, Snipes and of course Oscar Winner Mel Gibson.

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It is also evident that clearly the 2008 economic recession is still affecting Hollywood if all these actors from the eighties and nineties still need to take part in sequels. The main thing is, at least they haven’t retired and are still entertaining audiences 30 years later as the cinema was packed when watching this action flick. Recommended viewing for serious action stars and clearly not aimed at female audiences despite the presence of female wrestler Rhonda Rousey who adds some glamour to this aged group of bandits.

Watch out for Kelsey Grammer (last seen in Transformers: Age of Extinction) as Bonaparte, a sort of mercenary recruiter who is always good value.

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