Frank Farmer is the best. So when rising singer-actor double threat Rachel Marron life is in danger there is only one man to call. Frank doesn’t like to mix business with pleasure but Rachel and her YOLO lifestyle cracks through his tough exterior to find… love (awww). But can Frank stop the threat before it’s too late? Find out in… The Bodyguard.
How?! Frank Farmer will always love you. And by “you” I mean “stopping danger”. That’s cause he’s a bodyguard extraordinaire and if the price is right he’ll be there at your side stopping any threat. But there is one thing he won’t do: guard a celeb. Why? They are too much for his super serious methods. But Rachel Marron isn’t just any celebrity. She’s the it girl: a singing sensation on the verge of winning an Oscar. So he says yes, but it’s pretty clear pretty soon that he’s in trouble. That’s cause he can feel his ice heart melting and soon he and Rachel are totes in love for real. But love doesn’t stop the threat (unfortunately) and Frank and Rachel are always at odds on how best to guard her against the stalker leaving creepy notes, while also doing promotion for her big soundtrack release and Oscar campaign (how relatable). When Rachel’s son is threatened she finally realizes the seriousness of the situation and Frank takes her and her crew up to his father’s lakehouse. Unfortunately the whole thing is a setup and Rachel’s sister, jealous over her sister’s success, has been the one behind the threats. She hired a hitman through so many back channels that even she can’t stop it now. Before Frank can get anymore information Rachel’s sister is murdered. After burying her sister, the big Oscar night is here and Rachel insists on going cause obviously she’s going to win. When Rachel goes up on stage to accept the award, Frank realizes that the killer is a former secret service agent he knows and is able to take the bullet for Rachel and then shoot the killer. Later, Rachel is off for bigger and better things and Frank insists that the relationship won’t work, so they say goodbye at the airport. At the last minute, though, Rachel gets off the plane and gets her a piece of some Kevin Costner action. Love! THE END.
Why?! Love. It can’t be denied that this film is all about L-O-V-E. Do we care about Rachel’s Oscar campaign? Sure, who wouldn’t. Are we intrigued by Kevin Costner’s interest in ancient Japanese culture and the ways of the samurai? Duh, I mean, we’re all humans right? But despite all these very interesting things happening it still all boils down to love.
Who?! I wonder how many fake Oscar hosts there have been in cinema. In this case Robert Wuhl was the host, which makes some sense. He was part of the writing team for Billy Crystal’s 1990 and 1991 shows so he would know exactly what the job entails while also… you know… not being Billy Crystal.
What?! Are we absolutely sure that the film itself is not a very long advertisement for the power of Whitney Houston’s voice? I mean… check out this music video. Do you even need to watch the full movie at that point? This is actually fun, I’ll have to keep that in mind for future What?! Sections. Whether there is a music video using clips from the film. Like Wiki-wiki-Wild Wild West.
Where?! Mostly Los Angeles, but there are some pretty good Miami scenes (I thought for sure it was in the same hotel as in The Specialist, but IMDb tells me I’m wrong) and Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe was a funny one because I was thinking how weirdly familiar everything looked in the Tahoe scenes, but then I realized that I was just remembering The Godfather Part II. I’ll give it an A- since we get that sweet Oscar LA centric.
When?! Speaking of the Oscars, perfect kinda secret holiday film alert. At the time the Oscars took place on the last Monday of the March. Meaning that the climax of this film takes place on March 30th, 1992 (assuming this isn’t set in the near future for some reason). Makes sense too with the weather and in Tahoe and the idea that he would be protecting her from around the beginning of the year as the Oscar campaign heated up.
I kinda think a film like this is timeless, but just not this specific film. Mega-celeb stalker situation that needs a mumbly Kevin Costner statue man to swoop in? Yeah, make that every few years, throw it on Netflix or whatever and people are going to be into it (at least I would be). They even had a pretty good variant of it come out not that long ago called Beyond the Lights that is more or less this story without the overwrought Oscar/assassin plot. While this film was fairly enjoyable, and I thought Houston did a pretty good job, I think it really didn’t deliver on a few things that really hurt it. 1. Just a complete lack of sexy steamy action. I personally blame Costner who was even more wooden than usual. 2. Really pretty basic paint-by-number thriller plot, which they shouldn’t have needed (see point 1). 3. Hollywood likes nothing more than a film talking about Hollywood… but they also will hate a movie that talks about Hollywood in a not serious way. The Oscars ceremony scene in this film is bonkers and I kinda love it, but critics probably hated it. Patrick?
‘Ello! Iiiiii-iiii-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii will always loooooooove Kevin Costnerrrrrrrrr. He’s just always so brooding and emotionally stunted, you know? Super sexy stuff. Let’s go!
P’s View on the Preview – This is definitely in the category of “films I’m surprised qualify for BMT.” Prior to looking I would have guessed the film got something like 50-60% on Rotten Tomatoes in general. Even the reviews seemed somewhat tepid, merely calling the film a bit schlocky and cliche. I’m 100% convinced if this film came out today starring, I don’t know, Lady Gaga, that it would at least get a “meh, what did you expect?” from most critics. What were my expectations? A good movie. But in that Kevin Costner-in-the-90s sort of way. I’m not joking when I say he plays an emotionally stunted very quiet and brooding man in basically all of the films he’s in … and usually he’s a widower. I’ve watched maybe five of his films in the last six months.
The Good – It is a pretty entertaining (if a bit overlong) film, and Whitney Houston is surprisingly good. I’m a little surprised she didn’t get more roles after this, although I think this was also the beginning of her tumultuous fall into addiction that ultimately ruined her career. The soundtrack, naturally, is top to bottom bangers. And the few action scenes when they happen are solid, especially the sequence in Tahoe. Best Bit: The soundtrack obviously.
The Bad – Overlong, as I said. The twist in the end of the film is very Murder, She Wrote-esque. Oh, the person who seemed like a pretty famous character actor who was in the film for approximately one minute early in the film for no reason is the big bad guy? Who could have guessed? The motive for the crime is also weak. As much as I love the amusing fake Oscars they set up at the end, the camera gun assassin seems like it is somehow from a different movie … In the Line of Fire comes to mind. Fatal Flaw: Bad twist.
The BMT – I kind of dig this film, although I don’t think I would watch it again anytime soon due to the length. But if I turned it on and I saw Kevin Costner in snowy Tahoe? I would stick around for, at least, the chase scene soon after. It’ll always have a place in the BMT Record Collection for a rare film that spawned a number one hit single in the US. Did it meet my expectations? Yeah, not surprisingly the film is pretty entertaining, if a bit long and old school. And it was very very Kevin Costner.
Roast-radamus – The first decent Product Placement (What?) in a bit with the characters literally guzzling Stolichnaya Vodka at times, which is hilarious. Also not a bad Setting as a Character (Where?) for Los Angeles where the film predominantly takes place (except for the quick jaunt to Tahoe). Really really nice Specific Time (When?) for the ending of the film which takes place at the Oscars, so very specifically late-March (with the rest of the film taking place probably from sometime in the previous Fall). And finally a Worst Twist (How?) for the unsurprising reveal that that guy who seemed like a significant character in the middle of the film, but had only had one minute of screen time, popped back up as the assassin. Definitely closest to Good.
Sequel, Prequel, Remake – Obviously we are going Prequel here, because I got to know about the Reagan assassination attempt which is hanging over Frank Farmer’s career. A cross between Oliver Stone’s JFK and The Bodyguard, we follow a young Frank Farmer, a hot shot Secret Service agent who always gets his man. The story unfolds through post-event interviews mostly, with Frank admitting that with the death of his wife, his head just wasn’t in the game. But … could the event have been stopped? As a (entirely fictitious, creative license and all that) conspiracy slowly starts to unravel, along with Farmer’s life, we learn that Hinkley may have had an inside man in the Secret Service. In the end, to cover up the potential scandal for the service, Farmer is relieved of duty and goes into private security. But, he vows to find the ones responsible for nearly killing the president on his watch (That’s for The Bodyguard: Legacy starring DeVaughn Nixon reprising his role as Fletcher, grown up and following in Frank’s footsteps). The Bodyguard: Origins.
You Just Got Schooled – I was thinking about just listening to the entire Bodyguard soundtrack while working one day, but nah. Instead I decided to hit up one of the few remaining big Kevin Costner films I haven’t seen, Dances with Wolves. Why hadn’t I seen it? Because it is three hours long. For a three hour film it is quite good. Never really flags, lots of interesting characters, a beautiful setting, with a few impressive action set pieces thrown in. I can see most of the complaints about the film, and as usual Kevin Costner’s very Kevin Costner-y performance as “Kevin Costner on the frontier” (I think that was his character’s name) is a bit distracting. But I can also see why it won Best Picture, this is basically the definition of 90s Oscar bait, with a story of resurrecting the Western as a genre thrown in. B+. I’ll just deduct a bit for Kevin Costner, I have to, it’s all I’ve been talking about in this entire review.