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story.lead_photo.caption The Hitman’s Bodyguard, directed by Patrick Hughes

The Hitman's Bodyguard,

directed by Patrick Hughes

(R, 1 hour, 58 minutes)

There's nothing plausible about The Hitman's Bodyguard. It's bloody and goofy, with Samuel L. Jackson playing a shorthand version of his usual foul-mouthed screen persona and Ryan Reynolds as a high-dollar security professional who's a sort of ethnically Canadian James Bond.

London-based Michael Bryce (Reynolds) never lost a client until someone pulled off a lucky shot and nailed a Japanese arms dealer Bryce was contracted to protect. This blip cost Bryce his reputation, his Jaguar and his sleek residence in the English countryside. It also cost him his girlfriend, Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung).

Amelia is charged with transporting international hit man Darius Kincaid (Jackson) to The Hague so that he can testify in the war crimes trial of brutal Belarusian strongman Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman). After some ex-lover-style bickering, Bryce agrees to help, only to discover that the man she wants him to protect is his bitterest enemy; Kincaid has attempted to kill Bryce (or his clients) at least 28 times.

So Bryce sets off for The Hague with a handcuffed Kincaid. More bickering ensues, and bad guys are in pursuit. Things get so desperate that Kincaid picks up a weapon and the two make common cause, spilling blood and crashing vehicles along the way.

There's a lot of fun to be had if you don't think too hard about things. About the only ethical question is whether it's worse to kill evil folks or to protect them. The violence is loud and painless in the modern way. And while a pair of romantic subplots feel a little pasted on, one of them is redeemed by Salma Hayek's marvelously profane turn as Darius' spitfire of a wife.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (PG-13, 2 hours, 17 minutes) A confusing, underachieving science-fiction adventure with an intriguing cast (Dane DeHaan, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Clive Owen, Herbie Hancock), this comic book come to life concerns a team of special operatives assigned to maintain order on a mission to the ever-expanding city of Alpha, where a dark force threatens. Directed by Luc Besson (Lucy, The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita).

Good Time (R, 1 hour, 41 minutes) This raw, aggressive and unpredictable drama centers on an unsuccessful bank robbery in which the younger brother of Constantine Nikas (Robert Pattinson) ends up in prison. With a deadly deadline looming, he intends to take on all comers to save his brother and himself. With Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ben Safdie; directed by Joshua Safdie and Ben Safdie.

Beach Rats (R, 1 hour, 38 minutes) Don't let the dumb name steer you away from a potent character-driven drama in which unfocused Brooklyn teenager Frankie (Harris Dickinson) tries to shake loose of his family and law-breaking friends by chatting with the older men he finds on hookup sites while tentatively exploring a relationship with a young woman. Competing desires add tension. With Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge, Neal Huff; directed by Eliza Hittman.

Jungle (R, 1 hour, 55 minutes) A violent, spirited survival drama in which Daniel Radcliffe is Yossi, one of four travelers exploring remote regions of the Amazon rain forest, where an accident forces him to struggle to survive without benefit of equipment, directions, or training. With Thomas Kretschmann, Alex Russell, Lily Sullivan; directed by Greg Mclean.

MovieStyle on 11/24/2017

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