The Story/The Direction:
This film has special protection agent, Michael Bryce (Reynolds), guard the life of his mortal enemy, Darius Kincaid (Jackson), who is one of the world's most infamous hitmen. He has to escort him from the United Kingdom to the International Court of Justice to testify against an Eastern European dictator, Vladislav Dukhovich (Oldman), to free Kincaid's wife, Sonia (Hayek), from prison.
This film is directed by Hughes, who also directed The Expendables III, and gives viewers exactly what you'd expect from a Reynolds/Jackson buddy cop movie. It has decent action, great comedic dialogue between the two stars, and a whole lot of cursing. The action scenes were similar to that of Expendables III but were not as over the top. They were somewhere in between that and the John Wick films. But the real reason for this film is the two stars themselves.
Reynolds and Jackson are the best things about this film. Their rapport is great with one playing a high-strung man compared to the other with the non-filter, non-caring about anyone but himself attitude. While they are essentially the same characters you have seen before, it doesn't take away any hilarity from the film. I do wonder how much of the film was scripted because there are a lot of funny moments that seem too good to be written down. I also really enjoyed Hayek's Sofia. She was ferocious and had a great presence on screen and I wish I had seen more of her. The same goes for Oldman. He plays the potential for a great villain decently and gives the character a threatening presence.
While the two main stars had great chemistry, that's where the praise stops. The comedic dialogue is not very memorable aside from it just being another rendition of Reynolds sarcasm and Jackson cursing. However, I remember them being funny and not most of the jokes, specifically. The ones I do remember being in the red-band trailer and thus the overall humor of the film was fairly forgettable. Also, the screenwriters try to give you romances to these characters that are not fully developed at all. It felt lazy. You get one line of dialogue explaining that apparently Kincaid is a terrible husband and then he "changes" over the course of the film to being a loving husband.
It's the same thing with Bryce and his love interest, Agent Roussel (Yung). There's no evidence to show that the reason why they break up that Bryce is correct in the way he feels. You are just told she broke his heart but with no evidence or such things occurring. Then the film progresses to get you to care about their relationship.You just have to go on Bryce's word for it. This film is also a disservice to Yung as an action actress. As shown in Netflix's Daredevil, she can do action scenes very well and here she seems to be helpless without Reynolds or Jackson. Her relationship with her boss is also not developed that much. I did like her though and the charisma she brought to the character that didn't have much going for it. While I enjoyed seeing Oldman play a villain again, his character was not given that much to do. While I understand he is arrested and can't physically do anything, the reveal of what he did to his country was kind of out of nowhere and I found myself not caring. The other reveals in this film are absolutely predictable.
While also decent, the action was not the greatest. The two main chase scenes were essentially the exact same thing. The two main stars/their obvious stunt doubles get split up and are chased separately then they come together at the end. It was enjoyable the first time but the second, I was bored. The CGI also wasn't that great where sometimes I felt I was watching a straight to TV movie. With a budget of $30 million, you'd think that they could make better explosions. Game of Thrones has a $10 million per episode budget and their CGI was much better than this. It becomes honestly outrageous at times and I can't tell if this film is a parody of action films or it's trying to be its own thing. Thus, it is failing at both attempts. I also think it was a tad too long at 2 hours and could have been cut down maybe 15-20 minutes with the last ending removed.
To be honest, I did enjoy this film. I went in expecting a typical Reynolds/Jackson movie and I got exactly that. I wasn't disappointed in that aspect. The movie has a good amount of funny scenes that had me laughing Reynolds and Jackson are clearly having fun making this film and I enjoyed watching them. That's it. The action while somewhat thrilling does not look the best and the use of stunt doubles is very obvious. The jokes are fairly forgettable and I probably won't watch this film again though if someone wanted to, I wouldn't be against it. You could wait for a matinee or even on Demand/Blu-ray to see it.
Rating: 3.0/5.0 bowties
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