Tag Archives: Ryan Reynolds

My Thoughts on: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)

I knew going in that there was a decent chance I wouldn’t like The Hitman’ Wife’s Bodyguard. For one, I hadn’t seen the first film, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, and going to see the sequel without seeing the first film can be quite problematic depending on the film. However, despite going in completely blind I was willing to give the film a chance, the previews had certainly looked funny enough.

I should’ve known better.

Rule #1 of being a movie blogger: NEVER trust the previews.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard picks up, ostensibly, where the first film leaves off, with Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) attempting to pick up the pieces of his life. Of course, Sonia (Salma Hayek) drags him back into the fray and he’s soon on the run with Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) whether he likes it or not. It sounds coherent enough, and there’s actually a decent premise buried deep down with a pretty good villain, but it’s executed so badly that no inducement on Earth could get me to watch this mess again.

I was about halfway through the film when it dawned on me that I was watching a terrible movie. Make no mistake about it, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is not a good film by any stretch of the imagination. If I had to sum up the film’s biggest problem, it’s that I feel like the writers flung three different film plots together, connected them with the three main characters, and prayed that it would make a roughly coherent story. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for the fractured story that comprises so many different moods and plot elements that it quickly loses any semblance to a rational story (though it’s entirely possible that that’s the point).

The one bright spot in this film is the spine-chilling performance turned in by Antonio Banderas as the film’s villain. I wish we could’ve gotten more of him in this film, because every time he was on the screen I visibly brightened up.

I also can’t get over how jarring the mood of this film was. The story flips from a weird humor to deadly serious and back at the drop of a hat and it was hard to get into the story and stay invested (about 3/4 of the way through I just gave up). Many of the emotional story twists felt completely unnecessary. There’s an entire story arc with Bryce’s dad that amused me, confused me, and finally infuriated me with how it was executed.

There’s only so many ways to put this so I’ll say it one last time: The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is not a good movie, I’m honestly surprised I made it all the way through without leaving. The minor bright spots aren’t enough weren’t enough to save it, and it’s 90+ minutes of my life I can never get back (yes, it was that bad).

Whether you agree or disagree, let me know what you think of The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard in the comments below and have a good day!

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My Thoughts on: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

*note: very minor spoilers, but otherwise I did my best to avoid them.

Let me start this review by making one point clear: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is not a bad movie. In fact, there were times I quite enjoyed myself.  The first live-action Pokémon movie could have easily gone the way of so many other video game films and been so much worse.

But then again, it could have been a lot better too.

Sticking with the positive though, I have to say all of the Pokémon in the film are beautifully rendered. Each Pokémon looks real and believable, I’m not even upset there’s only 60 different species represented in the film (for context there are currently around 800 Pokémon). My particular favorites in the film are Charizard and especially Bulbasaur. I also surprisingly enjoyed Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Detective Pikachu. I wasn’t sure about that in the beginning but it works.

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The film’s story is also a minor positive. Once you have all the core components, the film’s premise is essentially sound. We have a setting, a protagonist, a villain, and the villain’s motivations for doing what they do. We also have some convenient twists along the way along with a boy meets girl sort-of-romance angle that felt slightly forced. The problem is, the execution of this plot left something to be desired. Certain plot points are presented in such a convoluted manner that I was left asking questions in my head until almost the end of the film. I understand the writers were trying to create a sense of mystery, but as a result so much time was spent on a winding path of plot points that the story lost something. And while I liked most of the characters, I feel like more time could have been spent with the villain and the villain’s motivations. More character development would have made certain key scenes that much more impactful.

The film’s biggest weakness, for me at least, is the sheer amount of awkwardness. Early on, it felt like the actors were each interpreting the script differently. Some were playing it more or less straight, some were acting over the top, and this is one of the first times I can remember being distinctly aware of a lack of onscreen chemistry between certain characters. I think some of the scenes were meant to be awkwardly funny on purpose, but that kind of humor has never gone over well with me and the film would have been better without it.

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*minor spoiler for this next paragraph*

However, above all else, the thing that bugs me the most comes mid-way through the film when two characters go exploring in a certain rather dangerous area. The way these characters enter this area demonstrates such a lack of common sense and thinking that I was dumbfounded as the scene played out. I know these characters aren’t experts in investigation, but come on, EVERYONE knows you’re supposed to at least try to be sneaky about these things.

To conclude, I did enjoy Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, even though it didn’t blow me away. There’s certainly ample potential for a sequel and I’m not against seeing one made. Let me know what you thought about Pokémon: Detective Pikachu in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Soundtrack Review: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

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Soundtrack Review: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

POKÉMON Detective Pikachu stars Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu, the iconic face of the global Pokémon phenomenon—one of the world’s most popular, multi-generation entertainment properties and one of the most successful media franchises of all time.  Also starring are Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Suki Waterhouse, Omar Chaparro, Chris Geere, and Rita Ora, with Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy.  Fans everywhere can now experience a Pokémon on the big screen as never before, as Detective Pikachu, a Pokémon like no other.  The film also showcases a wide array of beloved Pokémon, each with its own unique traits and personality.

The score for Pokémon: Detective Pikachu was composed by Henry Jackman, whose scoring credits include Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: First Class, Monsters vs. Aliens, and Kong: Skull Island among others. The score, which released on Friday, May 3rd, is absolutely beautiful. Jackman employs a variety of strings and other instruments throughout the score. However, what really puts this score over the top is Jackman’s decision to mix in synthesizer music with the orchestral score. And by synthesizer, I mean think of the music you heard in the original Pokémon games, that synthesized “doop-doop” that is instantly recognizable. A number of the tracks slide in and out of this synthesized music, and it helps bring the Pokémon world to life.

Regarding the soundtrack, Jackman had this to say:

Writing the music for POKÉMON Detective Pikachu was immense fun.  The movie itself was a unique invitation to create a new musical world representing all the wonderful and colorful characters of the Pokémon  universe.  I really enjoyed using many different sonic colors so, if you listen carefully, you can hear everything from the full symphony orchestra to analog vintage synths.  I was also very happy to be working again with Rob Letterman, who even tried to get his beloved 808 Drum Machine into the score, until we found it was fatally damaged.  To have been selected to write music for such a well-loved and precious franchise is a great honor, and I greatly hope my best efforts contribute positively to the Pokémon experience.

If the film is as great as Jackman’s score, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu could easily be one of the best films of the first half of 2019. Even without seeing the film, the music is a joy to listen to. Jackman covers an entire emotional range, from light and humorous to dark and melodramatic. If the film has any failings, it will not come from the music.

As the Pokémon: Detective Pikachu soundtrack is available now, listen to it when you get the chance and let me know what you think about it in the comments below and have a great day!

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