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THE BODYGUARD, 1992
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THE BODYGUARD, 2011 MOVIETHE BODYGUARD, 1992
Movie Reviews

Director: Mick Jackson

Starring: Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston, Gary Kemp, Bill Cobbs, Michele Lamar Richards, Ralph Waite, Tomas Arana, Mike Starr, Robert Wuhl

Review by Matthew Toffolo

SYNOPSIS:

A pop singer has been receiving threatening notes, and her manager hires a bodyguard known for his good work. The bodyguard ruffles the singer's feathers and most of her entourage by tightening security more than they feel is necessary. The bodyguard is haunted by the fact that he was on Reagan's secret service staff but wasn't there to prevent the attack by Hinckley. Eventually the bodyguard and the singer start an affair, and she begins to believe his precautions are necessary when the stalker strikes close to home.

REVIEW:

This movie isn't really all that great. But there will always be a place in my heart for this film because of the girl I saw the movie with and the many "intimate" moments I had with her while the soundtrack was playing in the background. In fact, I had one of my most memorable sexual experiences in my life while the song "I Will Always Love You" screamed from the speakers in my car. Of course I don't want to get into that because this is a PG-13 review.

I'll always remember when THE BODYGUARD came out in the fall of 1992. Kevin Costner was the biggest star in Hollywood and Whitney Houston was the biggest pop-star in world, so a logical choice was made to bring these two together and make a movie. This film was a gigantic hit and everyone, in my world at least, saw this film. And the songs by Houston from this film seemed to be played on every single radio station for a year after this film came out. "I Will Always Love You" was the biggest song to date and the cash was pouring in for everyone involved in this project. Costner and Houston became even bigger stars, if that could actually happen, and things seem to be a bright at they could be for them both.

If you look at the careers of both Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, you will look at THE BODYGUARD as their peak moments. Then the train fell off both of their career tracks and they haven't come close to approaching the elite status that they were. In fact, historically wise, both of these performers have sketchy careers at best. And at the time no one would of predicted their downfalls.

For Costner, it was back to back horrific choices of films to make. When people like him become big stars, they earn more power to make the films they want to make. And many times when that happens, you get films like WATERWORD and THE POSTMAN. Both films that were not only box office bombs, but the are also almost unwatchable films that put the studios $100 million plus dollars in debt. They were very angry at Costner's choices and he would have for pay for it for the rest of his life.

For Houston it was the bad choices of having the wrong people in her life, which caused her to get addicted to hard drugs and therefore lose that magical singing voice. She married renowned convict and just plain bad guy in rapper Bobby Brown and she never made a hit song again. And I wonder now if anyone born 1985 or later even knows who she is. It seems like Mariah Carey took the career she was supposed to have from her. In the late 80s and early 90s, she was even bigger than Beyonce is now.

But it does begin with THE BODYGUARD for both of them because this is one of those movies that was a hit commercially but panned by every single movie critic and audience member who saw it. It's just not a good movie and many who paid money to see it felt betrayed. A lot of times albums, TV shows, theater productions etc... become successful financially by reputation alone. But then after you watch it personally, you get angry because this is not what someone you respect should be doing.

Costner was producing and acting in good films before THE BODYGUARD. It's not his fault that this film didn't work, because it happens. Good movies are hard to make. It's not like he was trying to make a bad movie. But fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. And audiences weren't going to be shamed twice by a Costner film. So there was no way he could of survived (no elite actor could of) back to back flops like he had after THE BODYGUARD. He star status was gone within 5 years after being on top. That's how fast it goes.

In the case of Whitney Houston, the problem was that she wasn't an actress. Her scenes are all flat at best and she's the main reason why this film is so bad. If you actually put a real movie actress in her role, you probably have yourself a solid film.

One of the main problems is that Costner and Houston have zero sexual chemistry. And we're supposed to believe that there is a deep connection between the two. That just wasn't happening and I don't blame Costner or Whitney Houston for it either. It's the Hollywood brass who believed that Houston could be that generation's Barbra Streisand. What they failed to realize is that she just had a great singing voice, nothing more. It wasn't like she had any charisma in her concert performances and/or interviews like Streisand always had.

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Because of this major chemistry problem and poor performance by the 2nd lead, you have yourself a bad movie. Watching THE BODYGUARD is like trying to eat beef stew when the beef has obviously gone bad and never should of been cooked in the first place. All you get is a stomach ache afterwards and for many a lot of vomiting.

But I'll always have Whitney Houston's BODYGUARD songs to remember my past by. At least I have that whereas many others get nothing from this film.

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THE BODYGUARD