Is this on screen bromance a winning combination?

The grudging friendship in this action movie has us feeling all warm and fuzzy

If there’s anything film and TV have taught us, it’s that the best things come in twos.

Batman and Robin, Woody and Buzz, Han Solo and Chewie – some things were just made to go together, and it’s a theme that has persisted throughout cinematic history since the 1930s with Laurel and Hardy.

Arguably, the forefathers of the genre were Sherlock Holmes and his beleaguered physician sidekick Dr Watson, the crime-fighting duo penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle from 1887.

But from solving petty crimes to fighting off the nefarious Moriarty, it wasn’t the pair’s singular ability to put right the world’s wrongs that really stood the test of time. Rather, it was their relationship.

The mismatched personalities, the constant bickering and above all, the unwavering loyalty to one another were the traits that made the trope so endearing, and Dr Watson’s patience and sensitivity were the perfect foils for his partner’s eccentricities.

This chemistry is one of the main things that director Patrick Hughes (Signs, The Expendables 3) explores with the on-screen bromance in action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, scheduled for release in the UAE this week.

Starring Samuel L Jackson as the titular hitman, Darius Kincaid, and Ryan Reynolds as bodyguard Michael Bryce, the film follows Bryce, a failed agent, who has to protect a notorious assassin and get him to testify at a trial on time – without anyone killing him first.

As the pair stops trying to kill one another and unites to survive, something magical happens: they form a special bond – what we now known as a bromance.

“The story appealed to me in part because it’s got that old school, classic buddy-comedy flavour to it – with two contrasting characters with completely clashing life attitudes. That’s something I wanted to maintain, but in a modernised way,” Hughes explained. 

“You’ve got two guys that hate each other’s guts, they’re stuck together, they’ve got to get from point A to point B, everyone’s trying to kill them and on top of that, they’re trying to kill each other because they hate each other,” he added.

“That pairing is essentially a romance movie, and the romance is between Michael Bryce and Darius Kincaid.

“With a duo like this, I found the best idea was to just give Ryan and Sam the right environment and support… and then sit back and watch the magic show happen.”

It’s an opinion shared by Reynolds, whose real-life bromance with his co-star saw Jackson signing onto the project.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do forever,” Reynolds commented on working with Jackson. “When he said yes, it was like, ‘Oh, this is great!’ I knew that I would have a partner in crime.”

“Every movie’s a love story on some level, and the main love story is between us – it’s these two guys,” he added.

“Chemistry’s everything; you’re dead in a movie like this if you don’t have that.”

Also starring: Salma Hayek, Gary Oldman and Richard E Grant

Rating: 18TC

Running time: 120 mins

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