Overboard

It’s rather comical seeing Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard deliver any sense of reality. This isn’t that kind of movie, and yet the plotline concerns international hackers trying to disrupt European democracy by taking down power grids. Pulling anything from real world headlines in a movie where Ryan Reynolds should die, at minimum, three times is beyond absurd.

Critically, this is a, “if you liked the first one” action comedy because it’s generally the same material. Relentlessly vulgar, obnoxiously loud, endlessly cynical, and quite often hilarious. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard eschews boundaries, disallowing logic or sense, all to ramp up the entertaining idiocy.

… nothing in Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard plays anything without some smirk or wink

Yet, it’s an exhausting watch. The opening act appears so hastily edited, scenes struggle to transition between one another. Taking a guess, the editing room was likely stuffed with short clips meant to better the flow, but sliced out to shrink the runtime to a bare minimum.

The jokes work though. Salma Hayek is all in. Within seconds of her arrival, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard earns a strict R rating for language alone, then later for wacky sexual content. Sam Jackson and Ryan Reynolds maintain their heated relationship, but the bond to Hayek is better still.

Overstating Hayek’s importance isn’t possible, with Reynolds’ Michael Bryce choosing a pacifist approach to overcome the trauma in the first movie. It’s up to Hayek to take up guns and aggression, providing the needed point/counterpoint in any buddy movie. Take Jackson out, and Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is just as successful (most likely) thanks to Hayek’s ludicrous personality on screen.

Argue against Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard for its treatment of therapy and masculinity – it’s a valid point. At the beginning, Reynolds’ sits on the couch dealing with his problems, only for the therapist to take a beating from Hayek not long after. It’s as if Hayek were “saving” the men in her life from getting help, adding to a social stigma. Then again, Reynolds is tossed from a car windshield minus even a scrape, so nothing in Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard plays anything without some smirk or wink. Even by action movie standards, the inability of bad guys to shoot someone eclipses even Star Wars’ stormtroopers, keeping the unreality a focus and playing entirely to the comedy.

Video

A little uneven, Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard comes from a 4K finish, all digital, with a grain filter overlaid. The imagery brings a rugged look, sharpened enough to leave ringing behind. Sometimes it’s only on contrasting edges, other times the halos rob the location scenery of purity. Wide shots lack any finesse and appear overly processed. It’s a shame considering the rest looks so fantastic.

The source resolution keeps the detail flowing at least. There’s plentiful fidelity in close, resolving facial texture en masse. A little chroma noise doesn’t dampen things; it’s a generally clean encode.

Extreme color gives Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard a candy-like coloring. Primaries sprint toward extremes, pushing warmth more often than not. Flesh tones pop from the European scenery, which then drops ridiculous greens, blues, and earth tones. Cartoons use less intensity. Dolby Vision adds even more spark. When an attack blows up a power grid, the resulting sparks and explosions show the best of the tech. Same goes for sunlight, then assisted by the sensational black levels. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard overflows when it comes to dimensionality and depth.

Audio

Beefy Atmos brings enough range to excel in the low-end. Gunshots rumble sufficiently against the action, which spreads wide between the speakers. Bullets fire and ping in every direction, even if the heights only factor in on occasion, and even then, barely so. Opportunities are few other than a helicopter giving chase midway through.

Explosions generate LFE that shakes the room, and visiting a club, the dance music floods the room with a throbbing bass line. All together, it’s standard fare. Satisfying, just not exceptional.

Extras

Both the UHD and Blu-ray share the same extras. The first is a nine-minute EPK on the main cast. That’s followed by seven minutes on Reynolds’ character and the sequel’s changes. Stunts earn their due for nearly eight-minutes. Production designer Russel De Rozario explores the sets in four-minutes, followed by the finale: as gag reel, which is comprised more of deleted scenes and alternate takes than bloopers, if still hilarious.

Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
3

Movie

Exhausting in its pacing, Hitman’s Bodyguard’s Wife still brings the ridiculous laughs, pushed primarily by a vulgar Salma Hayek.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 46 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: