By John Mulderig | Catholic News Service
NEW YORK (CNS) — Needlessly gory, the action-comedy sequel “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” (Lionsgate) also presents a debased view of sexual intimacy between spouses.
This slapdash and distasteful film should, accordingly, be avoided by viewers of any age.
The enemies whose rivalry, and forced partnership, were chronicled in 2017’s “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” — foul-mouthed contract killer Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) and insecure security specialist Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) — return for renewed sparring. This time out, they’re joined on their eventual mission by Kincaid’s recently acquired spouse, con woman Sonia (Salma Hayek).
At the behest of Bobby O’Neill (Frank Grillo) a Boston police officer working for Interpol who threatens them with prison unless they cooperate, the odd-couple trio is compelled to work together to thwart Greek billionaire Aristotle Papadopoulos (Antonio Banderas). Outraged at the European Union’s treatment of his homeland, the tycoon has hatched a mad scheme to exact devastating revenge on its member nations.
As Bryce worries about his professional future, Sonia and Darius try to outdo each other in inventive vulgarity and wanton bloodletting. Returning director Patrick Hughes, meanwhile, attempts to mine splatter scenes for shock value and Bryce’s revulsion on witnessing the vigorous mating of the newlyweds for laughs.
Midpoint plot developments add the venerable Morgan Freeman to the mix. But even his effortless gravitas does nothing to dignify the proceedings.
The film contains excessive bloody violence, explicit scenes of marital intercourse, much sexual humor, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, several milder oaths, pervasive rough and crude language and obscene gestures. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.