Movie review

Movie review: ’The Hitman’s Bodyguard’

Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds star in action-packed comedy

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Wild, filled with extreme violence and profanity, and an off-the-rails craziness, you’d almost have to guarantee Samuel L. Jackson would have to be in it. And, he is, along with Ryan Reynolds, and together they tear up European streets in a movie that one might assume is the product of stunt casting and high concept spit-balling in a big budget studio meeting.

As it is, director Patrick Hughes’ “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” seems born to be played forever in adolescent teen playlists, it’s just that fun.

But, even though it is virtually devoid of substance, it moves like a 1970s action thriller.

In the movie, Reynolds plays Michael Bryce, a ‘triple-A rated’ bodyguard who seems more at ease in a Brioni Vanquish II suit than packing a Sig Sauer P320. He looks cool, acts cool and is ultra-confident, that is until a high value client gets taken out by a mysterious assassin’s bullet. Suddenly, his “triple A” status drops into the sewer and now he’s scraping the bottom escorting gangsters and drug runners who cannot imagine in their wildest dreams the skills he has at his command.

Jackson plays Darius Kincaid, a very bad man. He’s the hitman in this equation, a man who has a proven and very dangerous track record all over the world. Unfortunately, in an Interpol raid, his beautiful and very beloved wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) was captured and tossed into a Dutch jail. Darius himself is in jail as well.

Then there is the evil Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), a vicious Eastern European strongman who has been captured and is standing trial in The Hague. Dukhovich hired Darius in the past and Darius has the goods on him. Now, the World Court wants him to testify against the dictator so they can put him away for good. It just so happens that Bryce’s ex-girlfriend, Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung), is also an Interpol agent who suggests him as the one person who can transport Darius to Amsterdam in one piece.

Ok, that’s the setting. So, amid whizzing bullets, explosions and lots of insane car chases both men develop a cranky bromance that can be rather funny at times.

So, set your brain on stun and just go along for the ride.

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” is rated R for strong violence and language throughout.

It is screening daily at Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañon Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

Also showing in Taos

The following was compiled from press materials.

Afterimage

MPAA rating: Not rated

Movies at the TCA

The great Polish director Andrzej Wajda returns with this passionate biopic about avant-garde artist Wladyslaw Strzeminski (portrayed by acclaimed actor Boguslaw Linda), who battled Stalinist orthodoxy and his own physical impairments to advance his progressive ideas about art.

Writing for the Toronto International Film Festival, Piers Handling writes, “Andrzej Wajda’s ‘Afterimage’ is a late masterpiece in a career already marked by many illustrious films. The 90-year-old director’s work has lost none of its force of outrage over the years, but this film carries extra resonance in light of the contemporary situation in Poland, even though the film is set in the dark days of Soviet communist rule.

“Based on the life of the avant-garde artist Wladyslaw Strzeminski, it blazes with energy, passion and controlled fury as it follows the life of a man who refuses to bend to official ideology, even when it threatens his very existence.

“Strzeminski was a compelling and charismatic artist and teacher. Wajda picks up his story in postwar Lodz, where he teaches at the Higher School of Plastic Arts. His ideas, set out in a revolutionary book he has written about art, run headlong into Stalin’s dictates on what is good for the masses: social realism and superficial positivism.

“This is the dynamic that feeds ‘Afterimage’s’ utterly compelling narrative about a highly principled individual who confronts the indifference and, soon enough, anger of the authorities determined to stamp out anyone who questions the party line. A double amputee, Strzeminski is a restless force of nature idolized by the younger generation and the students he teaches.”

Director Andrzej Wajda died Oct. 9, 2016 in Warsaw, Poland.

This film will be screened at 2 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 27), and at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday (Aug. 28-30).

Movies at the TCA film series, Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. For tickets and additional information, call the Taos Center for the Arts at (575) 758-2052 or visit tcataos.org.

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