The Bodyguard

Directed By: Mick Jackson

Starring: Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston, Gary Kemp, and Bill Cobbs

Earlier this year, we lost the renowned Whitney Houston.  We lost a music icon who embodied an era of pop music.  We lost a world-class singer who also dabbled in acting from time to time.  We lost a legend.  With that in mind, it's important to revisit her filmography as well as her discography.  While she currently stars in the film Sparkle, she will be remembered most as an actress for her role in the 1992 film The Bodyguard, and there's no better time than the present to revisit this film.  Unfortunately, The Bodyguard hasn't gotten any better over time.  Twenty years later, it's just as cheesy and sappy.

Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner) is a very dangerous man.  A former Secret Service Agent who has protected several sitting presidents including Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan (who was shot while he was off duty), he now leads a very lucrative career in private security serving as a personal bodyguard for high-profile businessmen and celebrities.  For Frank, taking short assignments is paramount as he does not want to build personal connections with the clients for whom he may have to take a bullet.

Rachel Marron (Houston) is a superstar with no limits.  A pop music sensation and an Oscar-nominated actress, her star is shining more brightly than anyone else's is at the moment.  There's just one problem.  Unbeknownst to her, there are some serious threats against her life.  A stalker has sent several death threats her way and even broken into her home.  Now, her manager Bill Devaney (Bill Cobbs) must find help to protect his loyal client.  He turns to Frank Farmer.  Though initially reluctant because of Rachel's diva lifestyle and her obliviousness to the serious threats against her life, Frank takes the job.  He doesn't realize that he'll soon break his number-one rule as things get personal between Rachel and him.

The Bodyguard is anything but a well-written film.  The film is cheesy.  It's sappy.  It's entirely too predictable.  These issues certainly haunt the film to this day.  However, the real issue plaguing the film is logic.  Time and time again, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan drops the ball here as plot lines simply don't make sense.  Things happen in the film to simply push the film along.  These things seem completely random at times.  For example, Costner's Farmer takes Houston's Marron to his family's cabin despite the fact that he doesn't want to get personal with her.  Let me clarify this.  Although Farmer wants to keep things strictly professional with Marron, he opts to take her to a cabin in the woods to meet his family and spend every waking moment of the day with him in a scenic (and arguably romantic) location.  Why the hell would anyone write this crap?  This sort of nonsense makes the film unnecessarily illogical.

The acting in The Bodyguard is anything but top notch.  As Rachel Marron's bodyguard Frank Farmer, Kevin Costner is decent.  His problem is that he brings no personality whatsoever to the role.  I understand that Farmer is supposed to be this mysterious figure that is hard to figure out.  His life is supposed to be a closed book.  However, that's no excuse for giving a bland performance. 

While Whitney Houston put some of the greatest vocals of all time on track in The Bodyguard's soundtrack, her performance as superstar Rachel Marron in the film is mediocre at best.  Given that Houston was one of the world's most popular singers, she could really create Marron based on her own personal experiences at the top of the pop mountain.  I don't think she does this though.  There's no substance to her performance, and it is abundantly clear.  From a method acting standpoint, Whitney Houston just doesn't get the job done here.

The Bodyguard is anything but a good movie.  While I could spend a lot more space on this page criticizing the film, I won't because the film did yield some of the greatest tunes of all time in hits like "I Will Always Love You" and "I Have Nothing".  While these hits certainly don't make up for a bad movie, they wouldn't have happened without it.  The Bodyguard gets a 0.09% rating.  Have a few mojitos with this one.