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The Bodyguard
1992 - R - 130 Mins.
Director: Mick Jackson
Written By: Lawrence Kasdan
Starring: Whitney Houston, Kevin Costner, Bill Cobbs, Gary Kemp, Michele Lamar Richards
Review by: John Ulmer
You're going to see "The Bodyguard" spoofed a lot. Just two days ago I saw an episode of "The Simpsons" with Homer saving Mark Hamill from a horde of geeks. As the song "I Will Always Love You" swelled in the background, the image of Homer carrying an animated Mark in his arms filled the screen.

Of course, the film itself isn't a good movie. "The Bodyguard" is, in fact, a very bad movie. But I like it, in an odd sort of way. It's one of those likable but stupid movies that make the time fly by on a Friday night -- unless, of course, you have something better to do than waste your time watching Kevin Costner attempt to act and Whitney Houston attempt to love him.

The movie stars Kevin Costner as Frank Farmer, a bodyguard who blames himself for events from the past that come back to haunt him. Whitney Houston basically plays Whitney Houston (though the character's name is different in the film), a famous singer like herself who falls in love with her newly-aquired bodyguard and sparks an interracial romance that threatens her career almost as much as the death threats she has been receiving in the mail.

Frank's mission is to protect her at all costs from the assassinator, who is not a metallic cyborg and who does not bear an uncanny resemblance to Arnold Schwarzenegger (though it would have helped market the film). The surprise at the end is that the killer is not who we think it is throughout -- so don't think at all! Just watch. I hope I didn't ruin any part of the movie for you. But don't tempt me -- I'm about to give away the rabid fan's identity to you.

"The Bodyguard" is a big, mushy mess, filled with bad acting and bad scriptwriting. The entire movie is bad. It's way too long for its own good -- especially when it is broadcast on network television and stretched to a near three-hour showing. (Do they really provide fifty minutes of commercials these days on CBS?) I've seen the movie numerous times, on network television and unedited, and it always seems too long. But, despite its (extremely) bad traits, the movie is a lot of fun to watch.

I don't like Kevin Costner. I think he is, what I call, a *blah* actor. He talks with such a lightweight mumble that it often induces sleep. If Costner wants to make money after his film career is depleted (that's happening, folks), he should market Costner Sleep Cassettes. Insert a cassette tape/CD of Kevin Costner reading your least favorite book, and you're guaranteed to fall asleep in less than five minutes -- or your money back!

I found one great role that Kevin Costner has played over the years, and it was the role he played in "The Untouchables," opposite Robert De Niro's Al Capone. Brian DePalma directed that movie, and it worked because the role for Costner fit his dull acting talent. Watching him attempt to *really* act is quite sad. Remember his interpretation of Robin Hood? Some people liked it, but I thought it was a disgrace to Robin Hood.

For what it's worth, Costner is good here, mainly because he acts like a dull bodyguard who is required to show absolutely no feelings whatsoever. His character basically walks around with a single expression on his face throughout the film, including while he's on a date with Whitney and the night after (if you know what I mean).

The movie sparked a lot of controversy because the couple embrace in a passionate kiss at the end of the film. If you don't mind sitting through bad acting, bad directing, bad scriptwriting, all stretched out to two and a half hours...then this is the movie for you. I, personally, sorta like it. But I don't respect it.
Movie Guru Rating
Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not.
  3 out of 5 stars

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