The Hitman's Bodyguard
4K Ultra HD
The Hitman's Bodyguard offers enjoyable, predictably fun action with standout technical quality on 4K UHD.
Disc Release Date:
The Hitman's Bodyguard's 4K UHD Blu-ray impresses with sharp, vibrant visuals and nuanced details, despite minor issues with digital noise and color timing.
The Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray releases boast a dynamic Dolby Atmos track, engaging all speakers with clear dialogue, precision effects, and immersive soundscapes, enhancing action sequences and atmospheric tension.
Lionsgate's UHD Blu-ray of The Hitman's Bodyguard enriches fans with comprehensive extras including director commentary, featurettes, and diverse scene variations, making it an exemplary inclusion without disc swapping.
The Hitman's Bodyguard offers a nostalgically fun action-comedy ride with Reynolds and Jackson, echoing classics with banter and over-the-top antics, but lacks fresh depth.
The Hitman's Bodyguard" arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with an HEVC / H.265 encoded 2160p transfer, boasting Dolby Vision and presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1. Despite being shot digitally at a resolution slightly shy of native 4K, and paired with VFX rendered at 2K, the film benefits from a 4K digital intermediate. This process enhances the viewing experience notably beyond the standard 1080p Blu-ray version, especially when viewed on high-end equipment such as a Samsung UE55KS8000 Ultra HD TV paired with a Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Details in close-ups—such as pores, hair, clothing textures—are more defined, offering a clearer and more nuanced visual presentation. The HDR and Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) further enhance this detail with superior clarity and color vibrancy, although the film’s color palette and stylized sequences sometimes limit the perceived improvement in color vibrancy.
The film's digital shoot allows for an impressive showcase of Amsterdam’s skylines and other scenic vistas without noticeable aliasing or anomalies. However, the application of color grading leaves skin tones varying from pasty to overly bright in places, and the use of stylized contrast occasionally results in soft-focus effects. Noteworthy is the conservative use of Dolby Vision HDR, which, while not achieving the peak highlights possible with the format, still provides scenes with improved depth through better-handled black levels during numerous nighttime sequences.
Despite these strengths, certain limitations are evident. The VFX rendered at 2K, when upscaled to 4K, becomes marginally more noticeable, mainly in CGI-heavy scenes. This similar upscale effect slightly exacerbates digitally-added noise, particularly in scenes intended to have a grainy aesthetic or where stylized filters are applied, leading to a sporadic loss of fidelity. Nevertheless, the transfer handles these challenges adeptly, ensuring minimal impact on overall picture quality. Flesh tones suffer somewhat from the heavy color timing choices, with colors sometimes appearing pale or lifeless until revitalized in more vibrantly colored sequences towards the film’s climax. While some scenes exhibit black crush and artificial grain that can detract from the excellent detail resolution in others, the transfer largely succeeds in providing a visually stunning experience that significantly surpasses its Blu-ray counterpart.
The 4K UHD Blu-ray of "The Hitman's Bodyguard" truly showcases an audio experience that is as dynamic and entertaining as the film itself. Featuring a Dolby Atmos track that is consistent across both the 4K UHD and regular Blu-ray formats, it provides an aggressive, comprehensive soundscape that brings every shootout, explosion, and witty exchange to life with stunning clarity. The backbone of this auditory feast is a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core, ensuring that even those not equipped with Atmos setups still receive a high-quality audio experience. Dialogue is given prime real estate, ensuring the film's rapid-fire banter is never lost amidst the action, while the score and effects are balanced in a way that they energize scenes without overwhelming the spoken word.
Surround activity is constant and immersive, utilizing a vast array of soundstage tricks to envelop the viewer. Gunfire and explosions punctuate the action sequences with power and precision, making use of every speaker in the setup to create a 360-degree battlefield. The mix's ability to handle both the loud and chaotic as well as the subtle environmental sounds adds a layer of realism and atmosphere unmatched by many other titles. Particularly noteworthy are the implementation of overhead channels to simulate bullets, debris, and even roaring cars, enhancing the spatial audio effect.
Technical details further flesh out this robust auditory presentation. The mix features English Dolby Atmos (compatible with English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD), and English 2.0 Dolby Digital optimized for late-night listening, among other options, catering to a wide range of home theater setups. Dynamics are rich and lifelike, with the low-frequency extension delivering ground-shaking rumble during action scenes, and the surround sound presentation thoughtfully crafted to ensure sound travels naturally through the space, fully engaging all channels including rear and side speakers. Dialogue reproduction is notably crisp, ensuring that every line, whether shouted in the heat of battle or whispered in tense moments, is clearly audible. This technical excellence combined with artful mixing makes "The Hitman's Bodyguard" a benchmark for home cinema enthusiasts seeking a reference-quality audio experience.
The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "The Hitman’s Bodyguard" by Lionsgate is notable for its comprehensive suite of extras, ensuring the high-definition experience doesn't lack behind-the-scenes depth. All the supplements from the standard Blu-ray are migrated to the 4K disc, avoiding the hassle of disc swapping. Highlights include an engaging audio commentary by Director Patrick Hughes that provides insightful behind-the-camera perspectives. The compilation shines with a mix of deleted, extended, and alternate scenes, though largely seen as additional padding, they remain intriguing for fans. Its featurettes—covering everything from character backstories, stunts, key action sequences, to the portrayal of strong female characters—are succinct yet substantial, offering a glimpse into the film's creative process. However, while the outtakes reel promises chuckles, it's somewhat underwhelming for a film of this genre. Overall, while none of the extras push beyond HD quality, their inclusion on the 4K disc is a commendable effort to enrich viewers' experience without technical sacrifices.
Extras included in this disc:
- Audio Commentary: Featuring director Patrick Hughes.
- Outtakes: A compilation offering a few laughs.
- Deleted Scenes: Additional scenes not included in the final cut.
- Extended Scenes: Longer versions of scenes from the movie.
- Alternate Scenes: Different takes on scenes.
- The Hitman's Bodyguard: A Love Story: A behind-the-scenes look at making the film.
- Hitman vs. Bodyguard: A collection of scenes showcasing character traits.
- Dangerous Women: Focuses on the strong female characters within the film.
- Big Action In A Big World: Delves into the action sequences and stunts of the film.
The Hitman's Bodyguard," presented in 4K UHD, resurfaces cherished elements from the classic buddy action-comedy genre, reminiscent of "Midnight Run" and "48 Hours," but doesn’t aim to redefine or advance it. This film thrives on the undeniable chemistry between Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, breathing life into what could have been a conventional plot with their dynamic performances. Reynolds portrays a top-tier protection agent while Jackson steps into the shoes of a notorious hitman; their character dynamics offer a refreshing take on the action-comedy realm, injecting both humor and vitality into the narrative. The addition of Salma Hayek and Gary Oldman enriches the ensemble, with Hayek delivering a performance that stands toe-to-toe with Jackson in terms of sheer on-screen presence.
The presentation benefits immensely from the 4K UHD format, enhancing both the vibrancy of its globe-trotting locations and the clarity of its action set pieces. Despite its reliance on predictable tropes and a fairly straightforward plot, the movie delivers on its promise of mindless entertainment, accentuated by high-speed chases and spectacularly choreographed action sequences. The script, while not groundbreaking, effectively leverages '90s buddy film nostalgia, bolstered by a soundtrack that complements the film's fast-paced and irreverent tone.
However, the film is not without its issues. Its pacing occasionally falters, and the utilization of its cast sometimes feels underexplored, particularly with a talent like Oldman relegated to a less impactful role. While the movie indulges in excessive profanity and physical comedy—traits that may detract for some—the synergy between Reynolds and Jackson provides enough momentum to carry the audience through its nearly two-hour runtime. Ultimately, "The Hitman's Bodyguard" shines in 4K UHD as a competent, if not entirely original, addition to the action-comedy genre, catering more to fans looking for entertainment rather than innovation.
The Hitman's Bodyguard" arrives on 4K UHD Blu-ray with an outstanding presentation that enhances its viewing experience, making it significantly more entertaining than anticipated. Lionsgate's release in the UK impressively includes superb video quality and exceptional audio, especially with its rocking Atmos track, showcasing the film's numerous action sequences and dynamic soundscapes splendidly. Notably, this edition commendably consolidates all the worthwhile extras onto the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc itself, offering convenience and added value to fans and collectors alike.
Regarding performance, Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds exhibit remarkable chemistry, driving the film's enjoyment with their comedic and action-packed interactions. Salma Hayek also stands out, delivering both humor and action prowess effectively. While the film navigates through predictable territories, its technical merits - an evident improvement over its SDR counterpart - and the vibrant mix of '90s buddy action genre nostalgia with modern cinematic techniques, manage to hold the audience’s attention. Critiques pointed out some pacing and structural issues, and while the extras are described as somewhat slim and generic, they nevertheless contribute to the overall package.
In conclusion, "The Hitman's Bodyguard" on 4K UHD Blu-ray proves to be a worthy addition to one’s collection, especially for those seeking a mix of humor, action, and stellar audio-visual quality. The presentation by Lionsgate is praiseworthy, making it a good purchase at a reasonable sale price. Despite some narrative and pacing flaws, the film delivers on entertainment value, supported by strong performances and a high-quality technical release. It comes recommended for a fun, albeit predictable ride that shines through its leads' chemistry and the enhanced viewing experience of the 4K format.