Lionsgate has had a rough patch over the last few years with some several box office misfires including Gods of Egypt, Now You See Me 2, Blair Witch, Deepwater Horizon, and Power Rangers. They've also had Oscar nominees in Hacksaw Ridge and La La Land, but it has been a while since a box office juggernaut like the first two Hunger Games has come out for the studio. Their need for a hit means it isn't be too surprising they have been on a marketing blitz with The Hitman's Bodyguard, which has shown potential of being a fun diversion during the cinematic doldrums of August. I really enjoyed the first trailer from several weeks ago that humorously conjured up memories of the Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston starring The Bodyguard.
It still feels a little ridiculous that with still over two months before release, we've had two Red Band trailers released over the past fourteen days on top of the other trailers. Last week's trailer seemed designed to reassure people that it is an action movie and that my criticism of poor looking CGI and choreographed action was misguided. Now, we have another trailer with much of the same action sequences but now a whole slew of comedy focusing on the chemistry between the stars Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, just to clear up that this is more The Heat rather than John Wick.
These last two trailers have also been about revealing the main plot. Jackson is a key witness in taking down evil Gary Oldman. Oldman is not a fan of jail time, so he sends his goons to kill him. Reynolds has been hired to keep Jackson alive, except it looks like they already have a nasty history together. It will be the two guys that hate each other but then become best of buds action-driven road trip formula made famous by Martin Brest's great Midnight Run. Salma Hayek making an appearance is great, but my film writer senses are tingling it will be a few scenes supporting role as a wife with a bit of attitude (and a token ass-kicking scene). Maybe in a bigger female role, Elodie Yung plays an FBI agent (?), and I really dug her as Electra in the Daredevil Netflix series. This is looking like it has a lot of potential to be a fun but silly lightweight actioner. It does currently have the misfortune of being released the same weekend with a much more appetizing comedy thriller in Steve Soderbergh's Logan Lucky heist picture.
August isn't known for its parade of great movies, but we now slated two potential Oscar contenders in Detroit and Logan Lucky. Then some possible mildly entertaining or even really great if it hits its potential movies in The Hitman's Bodyguard, Birth of a Dragon (actioner with Bruce Lee as a character) and Polaroid (camera horror). Maybe, just maybe, we could still hold out some hope for Dark Tower too, if you want. A better than usual looking August.