The Hitman's Bodyguard

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The Hitman's Bodyguard
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Patrick Hughes
Produced by
  • Mark Gill
  • Dana Goldberg
  • Matthew O'Toole
  • John Thompson
  • Les Weldon
Written by Tom O'Connor
Music by Atli Örvarsson
Cinematography Jules O'Loughlin
Edited by Jake Roberts
Distributed by Summit Entertainment
Release date
  • August 18, 2017 (2017-08-18)
Running time
118 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30–69 million[3][4]
Box office $176.6 million[3]

The Hitman's Bodyguard is a 2017 American action comedy film directed by Patrick Hughes and written by Tom O'Connor, whose script was on the 2011 Black List survey. The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman and Salma Hayek, and follows a bodyguard named Michael Bryce who is hired to protect a popular hitman named Darius Kincaid who has to testify at the International Criminal Court.

The Hitman's Bodyguard was released in the United States on August 18, 2017, and grossed $176 million worldwide. The film received mixed reviews, with critics praising Reynolds and Jackson's chemistry but criticizing the clichéd plot and execution.[5] A sequel is in development.


Private UK-based bodyguard Michael Bryce is hired to protect Takashi Kurosawa, a Japanese arms dealer. All apparently goes well, until Kurosawa is shot in the head through an airplane window. Two years later, Bryce, fallen into disgrace, ekes out a living protecting drug-addicted corporate executives in London. Meanwhile, Vladislav Dukhovich, the ruthless and bloodthirsty dictator of Belarus is put on trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court. The prosecution is unable to make headway against him, as they are unable to substantiate their allegations with physical evidence and Dukhovich assassinates any witnesses who could do so. The prosecution's last hope is notorious incarcerated hitman Darius Kincaid, who agrees to testify against Dukhovich in exchange for releasing his wife Sonia from prison.

Interpol Assistant Director Jean Foucher assigns Amelia Roussel, an inexperienced agent and Bryce's ex-girlfriend, to lead the transportation of Kincaid. A squad of Interpol agents composed of French GIPN and British AFOs from the National Crime Agency begin to escort Kincaid from Manchester to The Hague. However, the convoy is ambushed in Coventry and everyone except Kincaid and Roussel are killed. The two retreat to a safehouse. They realise someone in Interpol must have betrayed them and they need someone from outside they can trust, so Roussel contacts Bryce. Bryce is reluctant to help, as he believes that Roussel was responsible for the death of Kurosawa two years previously, but ultimately agrees to aid them in exchange for the restoration of his reputation. After a brief showdown with Kincaid which reveals that Bryce had multiple conflicts with him in the past, Roussel returns to Interpol to update them on the situation, while Bryce and Kincaid escape an attack by Dukhovich's men.

Foucher approaches Dukhovich, revealing himself to be the traitor, and demands his payment for selling out Kincaid; Dukhovich stabs him in the hand and informs him he will only be paid when Kincaid is dead. Dukhovich's men track Kincaid's location through his cellphone and ambush him and Bryce. While they are able to fight them off, their vehicle is destroyed. The two hitchhike to a ferry terminal and take a ferry to Amsterdam, where Sonia is being held.

As they arrive in Amsterdam, Kincaid escapes from Bryce to send flowers to Sonia, and Bryce tracks him down and kills several more hitmen. Kincaid reveals that he killed Kurosawa two years ago, having been at the airport only by chance after another job. Enraged at the revelation that he has spent two years blaming Roussel for "betraying" him when in reality the client's death was a sheer fluke, Bryce punches Kincaid and then abandons him.

As Bryce bemoans his failures, a group of hitmen attacks Kincaid. Bryce changes his mind and helps Kincaid escape, but is captured. Dukhovich's men torture him in an attempt to find Kincaid, who tracks Bryce down and rescues him. After settling their differences, the two battle their way to The Hague, arriving just in time for Kincaid to testify. He testifies that Dukhovich tried to hire Kincaid to assassinate a political rival, but in the process Kincaid witnessed the execution of a village, uploading photos of the massacre to a secret FTP site that he provides the court with access to.

Dukhovich resorts to his backup plan; to bomb the court, allowing him to steal a gun and attempt to kill Kincaid. Bryce jumps in the way of the bullet and tells Kincaid to stop Dukhovich from escaping. Roussel notices Foucher acting suspiciously during the attack, and deduces he was the traitor. She subdues him with Bryce's aid. Kincaid pursues Dukhovich to the roof of the building, where he attempts to escape by helicopter. Kincaid destroys the helicopter and kicks Dukhovich off the roof to his death. In the aftermath, Bryce is recovered and has rekindled his relationship with Roussel and Sonia is released. Kincaid is rearrested for his previous crimes, but breaks out of HMP Belmarsh several months later so he and Sonia can celebrate their anniversary in the bar in Honduras where they first met. The movie ends with them dancing and then kissing in the midst of all the fighting and chaos taking place at the bar.



In May 2011, David Ellison's Skydance Media acquired the action script The Hitman's Bodyguard written by Tom O'Connor.[6] The script was among the top 2011 Black List of unproduced screenplays.[7] While originally intended as a drama, the script underwent a "frantic" two-week rewrite to be remade into a comedy several weeks prior to filming.[8]

On November 4, 2015, it was announced that Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman were cast in the film, which Jeff Wadlow would direct for Millennium Films. Producers would be Mark Gill, John Thompson, Matt O'Toole and Les Weldon.[9] On February 23, 2016, Élodie Yung and Salma Hayek were cast in the film, which Lionsgate would distribute in the United States.[10] On March 9, 2016, it was reported that Wadlow had exited the film and Patrick Hughes signed on to direct the film.[11][12]

Principal photography on the film began on April 2, 2016, in London, Amsterdam, and Sofia.[10][11]


Box office[edit]

The Hitman's Bodyguard grossed $75.5 million in the United States and Canada and $101.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $176.6 million, against a production budget of $69 million.[3][4]

In North America, The Hitman's Bodyguard was released on August 18, 2017 alongside Logan Lucky, and was projected to gross $17–20 million from 3,350 theaters in its opening weekend.[13] The film made $8 million on its first day (including $1.65 million from Thursday night previews).[14] It went on to open to $21.6 million, topping the box office.[15] In its second weekend the film made $10.2 million, finishing first at the box office in what was the combined lowest-grossing weekend since September 2001.[16] The film made another $10.2 million the following weekend, becoming the third film of 2017 to finish atop the box office for three straight weeks. However, while it made an estimated $12.9 million over the four-day Labor Day weekend, was again involved in a historically low weekend, as it was the worst combined holiday weekend since 1998.[17]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 40% based on 182 reviews, and an average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Hitman's Bodyguard coasts on Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds' banter—but doesn't get enough mileage to power past an overabundance of action-comedy clichés."[18] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score 47 out of 100, based on 42 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[19] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 80% overall positive score and a 57% "definite recommend".[14]

Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a positive review and called it a pleasant late-summer surprise, writing: "The Hitman's Bodyguard is about as close to a live-action cartoon as you're likely to get this year... That's not a style that works much of the time... but in the hands of The Expendables 3 helmer Patrick Hughes—and more importantly, owing to the chemistry of stars Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds—it makes for a delightfully ridiculous screwball action comedy."[20] Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers praised the cast, giving it 2.5 stars out of 4 and saying, "Reynolds and Jackson make this summer lunacy go down easy with their banter and bullet-dodging skills. They're the only reason that The Hitman's Bodyguard doesn't completely sink into the generic quicksand from whence it came."[21]


In May 2018, it was announced that Jackson, Reynolds and Hayek were in early talks to reprise their roles for a sequel, titled The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, with plans to begin filming later in the year.[22]


  1. ^ a b "Film Releases". Variety Insight. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Hitman's Bodyguard". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c "The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 31, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "2017 Feature Film Study" (PDF). FilmL.A. August 2018: Page 25. Retrieved August 10, 2018. 
  5. ^ Giles, Jeff (August 17, 2017). "The Hitman's Bodyguard Misses the Mark". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  6. ^ Kroll, Justin (May 25, 2011). "Skydance nabs 'The Hitman's Bodyguard'". Variety. Retrieved November 5, 2015. 
  7. ^ Finke, Nikki (December 12, 2011). "The Black List 2011: Screenplay Roster". Retrieved November 5, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson Are Your New Favorite Buddy Comedy Duo". Vice Media. August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 11, 2017. 
  9. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (November 4, 2015). "Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman to Star in 'Hitman's Bodyguard' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 5, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Fleming, Mike Jr (February 23, 2016). "Ryan Reynolds' 1st Post-'Deadpool' Pic 'Hitman's Bodyguard' Adds Elodie Yung, Salma Hayek, Sam Jackson, Gary Oldman". Retrieved April 10, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Verhoeven, Beatrice (March 9, 2016). "Ryan Reynolds' 'Hitman's Bodyguard' Lands Director Patrick Hughes". TheWrap. Retrieved April 10, 2016. 
  12. ^ McNary, Dave (March 31, 2017). "CinemaCon: Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds Hit Target in 'Hitman's Bodyguard'". Variety. 
  13. ^ "'Hitman's Bodyguard' and 'Logan Lucky' Unlikely to Boost Box Office This Weekend". TheWrap. August 15, 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2017. 
  14. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony. "Looking Under 'Logan Lucky's Hood As 'Hitman's Bodyguard' Stands Tall With $21M Opening". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 19, 2017. 
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony. "'Hitman's Bodyguard' Flexes Muscle With $21M+ Opening During Sleepy Summer.Weekend". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 20, 2017. 
  16. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 27, 2017). "Don't Blame Hurricane Harvey & Showtime Fight For Weekend's Lousy Box Office: Distribs Served Up Lackluster Titles". Deadline Hollywood. 
  17. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 3, 2017). "Labor Day Weekend The Worst Since 1998 As 'Hitman's Bodyguard' Holds No. 1 For 3rd Weekend With $12.9M". Deadline Hollywood. 
  18. ^ "The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  19. ^ "The Hitman's Bodyguard reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  20. ^ Debruge, Peter (August 10, 2017). "Film Review: 'The Hitman's Bodyguard'". Variety. Retrieved August 11, 2017. 
  21. ^ Travers, Peter (August 17, 2017). "'The Hitman's Bodyguard' Review: Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds Banter, Get Bloody". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  22. ^ Andreas Wiseman (May 7, 2018). "Lionsgate Circling Sequel To 'Hitman's Bodyguard' With Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson In Talks". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 8, 2018. 

External links[edit]