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Watch This Review

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Movie Review

Michael Bryce is a by-the-book kind of guy. He's efficient, dedicated and detail oriented. He is, in fact, incredibly skilled at his personal security services job and everything it entails.

That's what made his first big failure a few years back so devastating. He had plotted out every conceivable detail as a heavily armed security escort for a top Japanese official: every step, every turn, every stop, every angle.

In spite of those precautions and a support squad of dozens of men and vehicles, that wealthy employer was shot just before his plane left the ground. And, in a blink, Michael's triple-A career spiraled down in a smoking heap.

In fact, his whole life crashed and burned.

Now he's a laughing stock in the security community. His girlfriend bailed on him. And he's stuck protecting coked-up, fourth-tier businessmen and money-laundering bankers. Oh, and he drives a beat up Ford Focus that smells like, well, the wrong end of the drug mule who blew up in his back seat.

If that isn't a rosy enough picture, he just got a call from Amelia—that beautiful Interpol agent who used to share his bed before she bailed on him and ground his heart to tartar—and she needs a favor. If Michael had the fortitude and dexterity at this moment to punch himself in the face 'til unconscious, he would do so. But instead he goes to meet Amelia.

It seems Interpol made a deal with an incarcerated killer to testify against a genocidal Russian despot named Vladislav Dukhovich. But while Amelia's group was transporting the assassin, it became clear that there was a mole somewhere in her agency: Her whole team is dead. And now she can only trust Michael to help finish the transport.

Oh, and that killer's name? None other than the mercilessly murderous Darius Kincaid, a maniac who's already tried to kill Michael 27, no, 28 times in the past.

So, not only is every aspect of Michael's life going down the drain, now he's been recruited to rescue a man who barely failed at killing him, by a former lover who callously rejected him.

Then again, no one ever promised Michael that being a bodyguard would be the most fulfilling career … even if it is easily among the most dangerous.

Positive Elements

The Hitman's Bodyguard centers around several characters who regularly kill a whole lot of people. Not much positivity there, obviously. But amid that carnage, Michael and Kincaid talk at length about the need for love in one's life. "What do you have if you don't have love?" the hitman asks Michael. In fact, Kincaid's respect and complete adoration of his wife, Sonia, drives him to do whatever it takes to guarantee her safety. And Michael, for his part, does his job well, putting his life on the line to protect Kincaid.

Spiritual Content

Kincaid glowingly recounts his first impression of his soon-to-be wife, so much so that Michael asks, "Where'd you guys meet, Christian Mingle?"

Kincaid recalls seeing a man kill his father, a pastor, and leaving his body on the church altar. Kincaid quips, "The Bible says that revenge should be left to God, but I wasn't prepared to wait that long." Someone tells Kincaid, "There's no atonement for a man like you."

Michael and Kincaid hitch a ride with a van full of nuns. We see an image of Jesus painted on the front of that van.

Sexual Content

While working their way through Amsterdam, Michael and Kincaid end up in that city's infamous red light district. The camera catches sight of women in skimpy outfits and barely there underwear. Sonia, for her part, often wears low-cut tops, and the camera ogles her figure. Kincaid and Sonia dance and kiss.

We see Amelia, who's apparently naked, covered by a sheet in bed. In a flashback, Michael and Amelia begin kissing passionately during a violent shootout. Thugs drag Michael to the basement of a brothel where we hear people moaning in another room. A car wash sports pictures of bikini-clad women.

Violent Content

This is a film of action, destruction and death. And we see abundant amounts of each. Speeding vehicles catapult, crash, flip and smash through scenery. Explosions abound, the biggest eruption cratering half a building. We witness gun fights galore, involving both small- and large-caliber weapons.

People run and leap, breaking bones and shooting others (in the head, throat and chest) as they go. Those scenes feature choreographed, almost dance-like detail of the swing-duck-bash-shoot-snap death-dealing. Blood splashes windows and walls and gushes out of open wounds. A long-distance sniper unleashes graphic, fatal headshots upon unsuspecting victims.

A man gets kicked off a rooftop, and the camera watches as he plunges down and slams fatally into a car's roof below. Someone gets tortured by painful-looking electric shocks. Men are crushed and run over. A man has a pen jammed into his hand. Someone is set on fire in a bar fight. And after being shot in the leg, a man probes around in the wound and pulls out the bullet with forceps.

Sonia and Amelia are involved in fighting, too, though they square off against much larger men. Both persevere and come out victorious, but not before they've been severely beaten themselves. These women also batter baddies with kicks and punches. Sonia stabs two different guys in the armpit and the jugular with the jagged neck of a broken bottle.

Crude or Profane Language

We hear about 100 f-words, with roughly half of those being paired with "mother." The s-word pops up around 35 times along with multiple uses each of "a--," "h--" and "b--ch." God's and Jesus' names are frequently profaned (including three times when God's name is combined with "d--n" and once when Jesus' name is linked to an f-word). Crude references are made to male and female genitalia. Numerous vulgarities are also spit out in Spanish, some of which translated and some not. We also see a crude hand gesture.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A frantic man pushes several pills strewn on a tabletop into his mouth. While watching him, Michael wonders, "Is it too much cocaine, or not enough?" Michael downs shots at a bar (where other patrons imbibe as well.) Kincaid swigs from a metal flask. Several women drink champagne.

Other Negative Elements

An authority figure betrays his subordinates—sending them to their deaths. A down-and-out Michael urinates into an empty juice bottle while waiting in his car. We hear gas gags and racially tinged humor. Michael and Kincaid steal cars, motorcycles and a boat.


The Hitman's Bodyguard is a new kind of modern hybrid actioner: the sort that strenuously stirs witty characters into precisely choreographed mayhem while trumpeting the foulest of f-bomb riddled dialogue. (Think Deadpool, only with hired assassins, Russian thugs and nobody in spandex.) And it's becoming a moviemaking trend that we're seeing more and more of these days. (Atomic Blonde is another recent example.)

The plot here is dramatically shaped such that viewers are invited to kinda sorta like the diametrically opposed death dealers at the story's core. For, in a way, both of these characters hold to a rationalized rectitude for their killing. As such, the movie's "I only slaughter those who deserve it" ethos appeals to viewers' baser instincts, to their desire for revenge and bloody justice.

Surprisingly, both main characters recognize the rewards and healing power of finding someone to love in our tumultuous, angry, violent world. And on top of that, actors Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson layer on their patented likeable-guy charm in big dollops.

The problem, of course, is the above-mentioned obscene nastiness. It is, without question, an integral part of this movie. In fact, The Hitman's Bodyguard burrows down into the bog of its hard-R rating within moments of the opening title screen. And it wallows there for the next two hours like a pig stuck in the cinematic muck.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

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Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range



Ryan Reynolds as Michael Bryce; Samuel L. Jackson as Darius Kincaid; Gary Oldman as Vladislav Dukhovich; Salma Hayek as Sonia Kincaid; Elodie Yung as Amelia Roussel; Yuri Kolokolnikov as Ivan


Patrick Hughes ( )





Record Label



In Theaters

August 18, 2017

On Video

November 21, 2017

Year Published



Bob Hoose

Content Caution

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