More famous for its soundtrack and Whitney Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You" than for being a great movie, The Bodyguard arrives on Blu-ray looking good and might be a bit of a better than you first thought.
Written by Lawrence Kasdan (who also wrote screenplay for Raiders of the Lost Ark and Empire Strikes Back) and directed by Mick Jackson (Volcano), the film was a star vehicle for pop diva Houston along with helping Kevin Costner cement his leading man status.
The plot is pretty straight forward with former Secret Service Special Agent Frank Farmer (Costner) renting himself out as a bodyguard for the rich. Frank is approached by music manager Bill Devaney (Bill Cobbs) to protect Oscar-nominated singer/actress Rachel Marron (Houston) from a fan who is stalking her and sending death threats.
Frank agrees to assess the situation, but has concerns about taking the job due to Rachel’s diva attitude and the fact her handlers are keeping the truth about the stalker from her. After a little wrangling, Frank agrees to take the assignment and sets about fixing the security at Rachel’s home – which naturally ruffles her feathers, upsets her PR manager and sets him on a collision course with her other bodyguard Tony (Mike Starr). Frank also has to deal with Rachel’s son and her sister.
After a wordless conversation between Tony and Frank (arguably the film’s best action sequence), things get a little better between Frank and Rachel, and a romance even begins to happen. Frank has concerns that the romance will make it harder for him to protect Rachel, but you can’t stop love that is set to a Whitney Houston soundtrack!
The film builds at a predictable speed and even manages to have a couple of plot twists behind the stalker. It has also aged nicely and continues to get better with multiple viewings.
Kasdan and Jackson have crafted a film that blends elements of feeling like an extended music video, a chick flick and an action movie. The various ingredients create a film that is enjoyable while requiring very little effort from the audience to be entertained.
Costner gives the men a reason to watch the film making his Frank Farmer character into what could have been an action franchise character for the actor. He is a man of few words, very deadly, and ready for any situation. The actor knows how to balance the action of the film with the romance and doesn’t force any of the chemistry between the Frank and Rachel.
Although her character is very grating in the film, Houston is actually pretty good in the film. She walks a fine line between making the character someone the audience can love and hate. At times the singer seems to be trying a tad too hard to separate herself from the character, but in quieter scenes with Costner she is extremely good.
The movie looks solid on Blu-ray, but is a little light on special features. It comes with a documentary look back at the making of the film and the music video for Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You.” The documentary is good, but I wish there was a little more to make it worth the purchase price to upgrade from DVD.
The Bodyguard is a decent film that has gotten better with age. With solid performances from Houston and Costner, the film manages to walk a fine line between romance and action. More bonus material would have been a nice addition for the Blu-ray debut, but fans of the film or those who don’t already own it will want to pick up this version.
Visit the DVD database for more information.