HOLLYWOOD—Balancing action and comedy I would argue is difficult in the Hollywood arena, however, gold has been found with “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” which spawned a sequel, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard’s Wife.” Comedy veteran Ryan Reynolds returns, as does loudmouth Samuel L. Jackson. Look, I don’t know where that moniker came in for Jackson, but I have yet to see a movie where he is NOT yelling or over the top with his antics. Hell his unique cadence was presence in his recent appearance in the horror flick “Spiral.”

Look, I’m going to put it out there; I had NO EXPECTATIONS whatsoever with this flick, especially considering it’s a sequel. I will be honest; I did NOT watch the first flick. So you might ask if one needs to see the predecessor to understand the sequel and the honest answer would be no. Might you not fully understand the friction between Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and Darius (Samuel L. Jackson)? Yes, but this sequel felt fresh to me, nothing was being recycled and things work as a standalone entry.

Bryce is an emotional mess, especially after dealing with Darius the first time around. He’s seeking therapy and coming to grips with the fact that he has lost his license and ability to actually serve as a bodyguard. That changes when he has an encounter with Sonia (Salma Hayek), Darius’ wife, who enlists Bryce’s help to rescue her hubby who has been taken by mobsters.

Hands down Hayek is the MVP of this movie. Who knew this woman had the comedic, witty, butt-kicking chops that she delivers in this movie. Her pouty-mouth, her odd, uncomfortable yet hilarious interaction with Jackson propels the level of humor for this flick. I can’t believe I’m even saying this: I burst out loud in laughter multiple times watching this movie America.

The chemistry between Hayek, Jackson and Reynolds is some of the best I’ve seen from a trio in a long time on the big screen. It works, and they are indeed the saving grace of this flick, which I will admit in the begging was slow. The first act, takes a bit to get thru, but once the first act ends, I found myself hooked the rest of the movie, as this trio finds themselves forced to work together no matter how much they despise one another.’ The goal: to take down international titan and the film’s villain, Aristotle Papadopoulos (Antonio Banderas), yes that is his name people.

Is Banderas the big bad you expect, not quite, but he serves his purpose in the role, as does supporting players Frank Grillo, and proving once again why he might be one of the most versatile actors in the world, Morgan Freeman. I mean do you know an actor who can go from action, to drama, to thriller to comedy the way this man does as Bryce’s stepdad. I mean his introduction to the audience is hilarious and classic.

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard’s Wife” knows how to balance action, foul language and humor in a way that entertains your audience. The narrative is NOT as strong in the first act, but the second and third acts make up for that hiccup. You will have a better time with this movie than you expected. Laughs aplenty are coming your way.