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The Hitman’s Bodyguard (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Coming in as a surprise hit at the end of a pretty disappointing August this past summer was Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson buddy comedy, The Hitman’s Bodyguard. It was kind of a surprise, with many thinking Logan Lucky (Review for that 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release coming soon) would probably do better. But, this fun little throwback wound up taking in over 75 million box office dollars on a mere 30 million dollar budget. And in this day and age, it had the rarity of holding on to the top spot at the box office for 3 straight weeks until the IT phenomenon launch and made more in one weekend than this movie did in its entire run. Anywho, you’ll be able to check this one out on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray when it hits stores/online/the grocery November 21st. Just in time for some turkey.

Film 

The world’s top protection agent is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world’s most notorious hit men. The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years, and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades, and a merciless Eastern European dictator who is out for blood. Hayek joins the mayhem as Jackson’s equally notorious wife.

Its features some action sequences a little bit larger in scale than its brethren from a couple decades and whatnot ago, but in some era The Hitman’s Bodyguard might have been a bigger and more anticipated film than it was upon its release. Though, its hard to say that when it was such a surprise hit at the box office. Regardless, what it is, is a pulpy, old school, R-rated star-driven action thriller. You know, the kind of stuff that was top tier adult entertainment in the late 90s and started dying off around the mid-2000s.

Patrick Hughes jumps from the third Expendables movie to show us that he probably could have made a better movie there had they not neutered an Hard R franchise with the PG-13 rating. While this isn’t John Wick, The Raid or Atomic Blonde, its still shows a more keen and innovative action eye than any of those Expendables films did during their run. Hughes knows how to make you jump, squirm, follow bullets and awe at explosions. Some of it is just old school tactics of letting us see the damn action, some is just creative choreography. His touch is what keeps this movie from being completely mediocre and ho-hum.

Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson seemingly would make for a good pair, but they’re merely okay. Basically, they each just do their own thing and never really blend up too much chemistry that you’d be itching to see them paired together again.  Its all right though, as it works enough to improve the movie. With this as a hit under his belt, the Ryan Reynolds formula to box office success might be pairing him with a popular well-seasoned veteran that is well known and not required to open a film on their own. Before that some of his bigger hits were playing the B-part to Sandra Bullock or Denzel Washington. We’ll see though, but I think he can deliver more hits than just Deadpool.  The real joys in this film though, come from Gary Oldman totally camping and hamming it up as well as Salma Hayek chewing scenery, cutting loose and having a blast. Elodie Yung also gives us a solid turn and here’s hoping we see some more from our latest Elektra.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is entertaining, though nothing super special. I enjoyed it enough when watching it and its something I’d probably watch again.  Its a little too long and the leads don’t have the greatest of chemistry with one another, but its enough.  There are some pretty fun action sequences that I wasn’t expecting this film to have that made for a good surprise. Patrick Hughes’ film might be one of the more perfect examples of a film you missed at the theater that plays much better as an awesome rental after the fact.

Video 

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p) Dolby Vision

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Personally I found this one’s picture quality to be quite gorgeous. Its very sharp and vivid in appearance. Lots of daylight scenes are just full of color and crispness. Its a bright film, even by 4K Ultra-HD standards. You get a full on range of color and good use of blacks. Details are, of course, strong, with brick texture, clothing threads/wrinkles, automobile damage (even rain drips on a car) and more coming through like peering through glass at it. In chatting with fellow writer Brian White about it (He also took this in), he felt it was more of a 4.5, but I’m going to go with the perfect scoring here as I was pretty impressed overall.

Depth:  This film features a lot of quick camera movements and actors quickly roaming around and the picture manages to project it all with ease and no distortion. You get a good sense of space here and foreground imagery and background images have a nice good display of distance between them.

Black Levels: Blacks have a natural look to them, deep, holding strong even with a brighter looking image. There’s a really dark funeral scene in the film and its impressive with how much detail there is over everything when its all black, shadows and darkness. No crushing witnessed during this review.

Color Reproduction: Colors are the whole treat with this 4K Ultra-HD transfer. Blues, reds, greens, yellows…all come through incredible bold with their individual palettes wonderfully covered here. Explosions look awesome and roar off the screen. Any sort of light in this movie glows. There are some really awesome filtered sequences too, that just come off incredibly rich in their coloring scheme.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and maintain a consistent appearance throughout the film’s duration. Facial features like tatoo ink, stubble, cuts, wrinkles, lip texture, make-up, blemishing and more look like you’re peaking through a window.

Noise/Artifacts:  Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD compatible), English 2.0 Dolby Digital Optimized for Late Night Listening, English Descriptive Audio

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: While Lionsgate movies have been sorta underwhelming with picture quality (Mainly their catalog upgrades), their Atmos tracks have been a complete treat. This one is no different. Its a rock concert of gun blasts, car crashes and explosions. All of it comes with livening up your viewing space and putting you right in the middle of all the commotion. Effects aren’t just loud and dumb either, they are well rounded with plenty of depth and lifelike attention to detail. This mix also features a good balance of the score/songs going along with said effects and the film’s vocals.

Height: Natural things in place of where the camera is wander overhead like some bullets, debris and even at one part some cars.

Low Frequency Extension: Music bumps, guns blast, explosions pound and engines roar in this charge subwoofer rumbling.

Surround Sound Presentation: Sound travel is pretty well thought out and placed through the film. Travel feels organic.  All speakers are utilized and the rear and side channels get to do more than just sit and be pretty ambiance. They do get their chance to do that, but provide unique sound and help to involve the 360 degree plus overhead experience.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is loud and clear. Actors diction is well read through it.

Extras 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and an UltraViolet digital copy.  Bonus features do appear on the 4K Ultra-HD disc, but appear to just be in HD, not 4K.

Audio Commentary

  • By Director Patrick Hughes

Outtakes (HD, 5:23) 

Deleted Scenes (HD, 4:44)

Extended Scenes (HD, 2:59)

Alternate Scenes

  • Breaking Protocol (HD, 1:05)
  • Confrontation on Roof (HD, 1:59)

The Hitman’s Bodyguard: A Love Story (HD, 8:56) – A breezy little behind the scenes/making of with cast and crew, featuring on set interviews that tells a swift version of making the film.

Hitman vs. Bodyguard (HD, 4:23) – Just a collection of scenes in the movie labeled by personality traits.

Dangerous Women (HD, ) – Cast and crew talk about the cool, strong women in the film.

Big Action in A Big World (HD, 7:53) – Focuses on the action in the film with talks of the stunt coordinators, some favorite moments and features on set footage of the rehearsals and behind the scenes of certain parts.

Summary 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is some simple throwback, pulpy fun. Its nothing really special, but a decent way of wasting a lazy afternoon. This 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray comes with a beautiful picture and what is becoming Lionsgate’s/Summit’s signature rocking Atmos track. Your extras here are that of the typical comedy movie-fare and quite generic in terms of nutritious content. The Hitman’s Bodyguard is worth picking up for a nice sale price (Probably under the $20 mark would be a good spot to start).

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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