The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a buddy cop action movie written by Tom O’Connor and directed by Patrick Hughes (the same inspired genius who brought us Expendables 3 and The Making of Expendables 3.)

The 118 minute flick hosts a star studded cast, including Gary Oldman, Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek.

First Thoughts: not bad, not bad at all. I had thought we had seen all the tropes in the buddy cop genre. We have seen a good cop and bad cop, a street cop and a preppy cop, a cop and a dog… but I will admit this is indeed something new.

Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds play little more than their public personas, but for an action movie it kind of works. They are what keep you going in a movie that seems to get lost in its own plot and forgets what it is.

The first act of this movie is kind of a write-off; it doesn’t understand its tone and it had to jump through a series of ridiculous hoops to try and establish our two leads and bring them together.

It is clunky and awkward and drags a lot into the movie. But just when you think the movie is a lost cause, right around the 30-minute mark (I know, because I was checking my watch to see how much longer I had to stay in the theatre) the movie hits its stride and everything clicks.

Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds have great chemistry and play off each other excellently. You can tell that Salma Hayek is having a great time, and every scene she is in is a breath of fresh air and comedic gold; she alone is worth your ticket admission.

The third act amps up the stakes with a series of fight scenes that are new and invigorating; they showcase excellent choreography and really bring the movie together.

Patrick Hughes seems to have learned from a few of his mistakes in Expendables 3 as he tones down the CGI and cranks up the practical effects.

Much like the beginning, the movie seems unsure of how it wants to end, floundering for tone and meaning. But at least it has the good sense to end things quickly while you are still riding the action high. This movie is a solid action comedy, and if that is what you are looking for you are going to have a great time. If you are looking for much more, perhaps you should keep looking.

This movie gets a three and a half out five witty comebacks.