The discharge of Kasi Lemmons’ “I Want to Dance With Somebody,” a music biopic on the lifetime of the late Whitney Houston, has a shocking correlation with Houston’s extremely touted movie debut.
It’s been greater than 30 years since “The Bodyguard,” starring Houston and Kevin Costner, overcame horrendous opinions, grew to become a word-of-mouth blockbuster and spawned what stays, to this very day, the top-grossing soundtrack of all time.
Is the movie itself any good or, like Lemmons’ movie, does our fondness for Houston, Costner and people killer music cuts ship goodwill the film can’t? Regardless of some dopey screenplay decisions and a famously campy showdown on the Oscars, “The Bodyguard” stays fairly beguiling.
That has quite a bit to do with Houston and Costner.
Houston stars as Rachel Herron, an enormously profitable music pop star who has been receiving loss of life threats, creepy letters and the undesirable consideration of a pale, menacing mouth breather. Enter Frank Farmer, performed by Costner.
Famer is a bodyguard with, actually, the self-discipline and abilities of a samurai, a no-nonsense angle and no real interest in the glamourous world wherein Herron exists.
Farmer has been employed by Herron’s household good friend, Devaney (the indispensable and all the time great Invoice Cobbs), a lot to the mistrust of Herron’s fame-hungry producer (Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet) and the present bodyguard (Mike Starr, one other supporting actor MVP).
When the assaults on Herron’s life reduce nearer to residence, it’s Farmer’s always-watchful eye and swift actions that hold Herron alive. An issue that they each acknowledge is that they’re falling in love with one another, making Farmer’s job unattainable.
The screenplay for “The Bodyguard” was famously written by Lawrence Kasdan and supposed as a car for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross. Certainly, the script was dusty by the point the movie was lastly lensed many years later, although there have been advantages in a delayed begin.
Costner, with a distinctly McQueen haircut, is enjoying the position with precisely the type of sturdy gravitas and humorless edge that McQueen would have introduced. Houston, even in her first film the place she is sort-of enjoying herself, has a sassy heat and pleasure that makes her a more sensible choice over Ross.
As a tortured love story, and a eager match for each its stars, “The Bodyguard” works.
What doesn’t all the time join is how director Mick Jackson handles the story. The one-on-one scenes between the leads are all the time fulfilling however, as an motion film, it’s underwhelming.
Jackson, whose prior work was the great Steve Martin-led and penned “L.A. Story” (1991), can’t even give “The Bodyguard” the injection of cracked vitality he dropped at his earlier film.
Jackson succeeds in making the movie slick and fascinating however fails to visually join with the themes of the 2 contrasting worlds the way in which Ridley Scott did with related materials in his underestimated “Someone to Watch Over Me” (1987).
Kevin Costner Calls Clive Davis Whitney Houston’s ‘Bodyguard’: ‘You Were a Miracle in Her Life’ https://t.co/83TpEGEPnN
— Individuals (@folks) February 5, 2023
A high quality I really like concerning the lead performances is how each actors exit of their option to make their characters messy and, at instances, onerous to root for. Costner, probably making an attempt to shed the goody-goody picture enjoying an emblem of righteousness in “The Untouchables” (1987) and “Field of Dreams” (1989) makes Farmer gruff and emotionally impenetrable.
In truth, that is precisely why his work in “JFK” (1991) and particularly “Waterworld” (1995) are so good – Costner pushes towards this being a star car by leaning into what’s so irritating about Farmer.
Likewise, Houston doesn’t let this grow to be a conceit flip and makes Herron impulsive and, at instances, even irritating. The screenplay doesn’t all the time develop plausibly, however Costner and Houston (who offers her greatest movie efficiency right here) are persistently good right here.
Lengthy-term reminiscences of “The Bodyguard” are probably infused with the MTV movies excess of the movie itself. I want Jackson knew the best way to stage the motion (his subsequent “Volcano” in 1997 a minimum of has that), however this has a refreshing darkness and an uncompromised bleakness on the coronary heart of the story.
Kasdan’s screenplay gives a sadly timeless commentary on how the music business exploits its expertise, and even will get away with an ending that manages to imitate each the romanticism and doomed final result of “Casablanca.”
A key subplot involving the true nature of Rachel’s sister doesn’t make numerous sense as soon as you actually give it some thought. Higher are the little methods its instructed that Farmer isn’t simply educated like a samurai and admires Toshiro Mifune (there’s even a clip of “Yojimbo”) however there’s a hanging second involving a sword that, oddly, acts because the movie’s love scene.
That is the type of film the place Leisure Tonight gives exposition and, for all of the chutzpah it exudes, the wild Oscar ceremony climax can solely handle cameo appearances from two actual celebrities enjoying themselves (on this, Robert Wuhl and Debbie Reynolds).
But, the finale on the Oscars has one of many movie’s most bruising moments: after the fracas, Kemp’s sleazeball producer picks up the bloodied Oscar card, wipes it off and takes it residence, an sincere character alternative.
Whereas Costner may have merely given his viewers what they needed, there are two large anti-mainstream decisions right here: it is a love story about two individuals who can’t be collectively, and a Whitney Houston car that by no means lets Houston sing a tune in its entirety. The previous contact is an asset, whereas the latter is baffling (what have been they pondering?).
FAST FACT: When Dolly Parton first heard Whitney Houston’s model of her tune, “I Will Always Love You,” she needed to pull her automobile over to listen to it with out distractions. “I was shot so full of adrenaline and energy, I had to pull off, because I was afraid that I would wreck.”
Launched a 12 months after the prior, sleazier Warner Brothers-distributed fallen secret service thriller “The Last Boy Scout,” Jackson’s movie (regardless of vicious opinions) grew to become an enormous hit. Sporting the all-time bestselling film soundtrack (as of this writing) and a far grimmer tone than most keep in mind, “The Bodyguard” was seen as extra of a industrial than a inventive success upon its launch.
it as we speak, there’s a bitter pessimism and melancholy high quality to it and Costner and Houston join with the tragic romance on the movie’s darkish core.