The Bodyguard

No wonder this Lawrence Kasdan script was on the shelf for more than a decade: in the custody of director Mick Jackson, it proves a jumbled mess with a few enjoyable moments but little continuity or flow.

With:
Kevin Costner Whitney Houston Gary Kemp Bill Cobbs Ralph Waite Michele Lamar Richards

No wonder this Lawrence Kasdan script was on the shelf for more than a decade: in the custody of director Mick Jackson, it proves a jumbled mess with a few enjoyable moments but little continuity or flow.

Those shortcomings are puzzling since the pic’s core is sheer simplicity: bodyguard-for-hire Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner), who fears becoming too attached to his clients, takes a job protecting actress-singer Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston) and ends up falling for her. Someone is trying to kill her, and it seems possible that one of the members of her entourage may be involved.

Blame it on the setting, but the collaboration of Kasdan and Jackson (the one-time BBC director who helmed L.A. Story) at times feels like a music video interrupted by a movie.

For all that, pic isn’t without its pleasures, from Costner silently drubbing his charge’s testy security chief (Mike Starr) to his bluntly deflating a predatory partygoer.

The chemistry between the leads stems more from their inherent appeal than anything the story develops. Houston makes a solid debut and looks glorious, snapping off saucy dialogue. Kasdan was inspired by Steve McQueen in Bullitt when he wrote the script in 1975, and Costner manages some of that quiet intensity.

1992: Nominations: Best Song (‘I Have Nothing’, ‘Run to You’)

The Bodyguard

Production: Warner/Tig. Director Mick Jackson; Producer Lawrence Kasdan, Jim Wilson, Kevin Costner; Screenplay Lawrence Kasdan; Camera Andrew Dunn; Editor Richard A. Harris, Donn Cambern; Music Alan Silvestri; Art Director Jeffrey Beecroft

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1992. Running time: 129 MIN.

With: Kevin Costner Whitney Houston Gary Kemp Bill Cobbs Ralph Waite Michele Lamar Richards

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