Back in 2017, Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson teamed up for The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which saw Reynolds’ Michael Bryce being hired to protect Jackson’s Darius Kincaid when he’s targeted for assassination. Four years later, these Hollywood stars have reunited for The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, which sees Salma Hayek’s Sonia Kincaid getting an expanded role. The sequel arrives later this month (though some of you may be seeing it early), but reviews are now trickling in, so we have an early read on how Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is being received critically.
Starting off, The Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore was not impressed with The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, calling it a “by-the-book sequel to a movie that was already striking in its unoriginality.” DeFore commended the decision to place Salma Hayek’s character in the spotlight, but it wasn’t enough to improve the overall film’s quality, specifically the humor.
… Its occasional laughs drown in a sea of action-comedy tropes that have been stale for decades. These actors deserve much better, and so do their fans.
The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde was similarly dissatisfied with The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, saying how the sequel was “a movie even more negligible and forgettable than the first one.” Describing the two Bodyguard movies as being more like “spreadsheets,” Duralde stated that the sequel doesn’t have “one legitimate laugh” and it seemed like no one cared that the story doesn’t work.
Now, with theaters slowly filling up again, the studios are going to be clearing the shelves of their most negligible product before the big summer titles launch. Amid this rummage sale, almost any other movie screening at a multiplex that isn’t The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is more worth that wait.
Molly Freeman from ScreenRant was kinder to Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, stamping it with a 3/5 score. Freeman wrote that the sequel is “a perfectly serviceable action-comedy” that primarily stands out with its star power, though the story itself leaves a lot to be desired.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is another fine action-comedy, made more fun by Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek's performances.
Finally, Paste Magazine’s Jacob Oller also fell into more mixed territory with The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, noting that Salma Hayek makes the sequel better than its predecessor and the film’s “primary pleasure” is its “commitment of its cast to its bloody, profane vapidity.” But ultimately, this movie doesn’t deliver enough to make it an exceptional product.
When Hitman’s Bodyguard’s Wife’s Son eventually comes out, their next improvement can be adding good jokes after realizing that the franchise should be only jokes.
Going off these early reviews and a handful of others, it sounds like The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard will score an overall similar critical reception to The Hitman’s Bodyguard, i.e. falling in the mixed-negative range. That said, The Hitman’s Bodyguard performed solidly on the commercial front, making over $176 million worldwide, so perhaps The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard will perform similarly in that area too now that movie theaters are reopening. In addition to the aforementioned actors, the sequel also stars Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas, Frank Grillo and Richard E. Grant, among others.
You can judge The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard for yourself when it premieres on the big screen June 16. For those of you wondering what other movies are on the way this year, look through our 2021 release schedule.