Five years since appearing alongside Denzel Washington in Safe House, Ryan Reynolds is once again contentiously protecting one of our most charismatic and renowned black stars. His latest deadly, argumentative, 60-something charge? Samuel L. Jackson in the action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Reynolds of course plays the title role, and Jackson the hitman—though you’d be forgiven for not noticing that either is actually playing a character.
While the film’s screenplay was written years ago, even making the 2011 Black List of the top un-produced scripts, its current form feels conspicuously tailored toward the stars the studio was able to get. Reynolds is right in his wheelhouse as an exasperated, well-armed smart-ass, and Jackson, amazingly, dives even deeper into self-parody that he’s gone in his seemingly-improvised straight-to-video roles. He threatens to “bust a cap in [Reynolds’] ass”; he shouts “motherfucker” so often that he’s explicitly called out for ruining the phrase; he even makes a ridiculously high jump off a building that results in his comic injury—seemingly a nod to his memorable death in The Other Guys. This thing would be more honest—and probably more marketable—titled We Put Deadpool and Sam Jackson in Suits and This Happened.
It’s all exceedingly nail-on-the-head, yet that’s still not quite as on-the-nose as the soundtrack in this trailer. Prepare yourself for 1992’s most poignant Whitney Houston track and have a look for yourself with the video above. The Hitman’s Bodyguard hits theaters August 18.