The discharge of Kasi Lemmons’ “I Want to Dance With Somebody,” a music biopic on the lifetime of the late Whitney Houston, has a stunning 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, turned 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 loads to do with Houston and Costner.
Houston stars as Rachel Herron, an enormously profitable music pop star who has been receiving dying 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 expertise of a samurai, a no-nonsense angle and little interest in the glamourous world by which Herron exists.
Farmer has been employed by Herron’s household pal, Devaney (the indispensable and at all times fantastic 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 lower nearer to residence, it’s Farmer’s always-watchful eye and swift actions that maintain Herron alive. An issue that they each acknowledge is that they’re falling in love with one another, making Farmer’s job unimaginable.
The screenplay for “The Bodyguard” was famously written by Lawrence Kasdan and supposed as a automobile for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross. Certainly, the script was dusty by the point the movie was lastly lensed a long time later, although there have been advantages in a delayed begin.
Costner, with a distinctly McQueen haircut, is enjoying the position with precisely the sort 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 at all times join is how director Mick Jackson handles the story. The one-on-one scenes between the leads are at all times fulfilling however, as an motion film, it’s underwhelming.
Jackson, whose prior work was the fantastic Steve Martin-led and penned “L.A. Story” (1991), can’t even give “The Bodyguard” the injection of cracked power he dropped at his earlier film.
Jackson succeeds in making the movie slick and interesting however fails to visually join with the themes of the 2 contrasting worlds the best way Ridley Scott did with comparable 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
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A top quality I like concerning the lead performances is how each actors exit of their strategy to make their characters messy and, at instances, laborious to root for. Costner, seemingly attempting 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 reality, that is precisely why his work in “JFK” (1991) and particularly “Waterworld” (1995) are so good – Costner pushes towards this being a star automobile by leaning into what’s so irritating about Farmer.
Likewise, Houston doesn’t let this turn into a conceit flip and makes Herron impulsive and, at instances, even irritating. The screenplay doesn’t at all times 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 seemingly infused with the MTV movies excess of the movie itself. I want Jackson knew learn how to stage the motion (his subsequent “Volcano” in 1997 no less than has that), however this has a refreshing darkness and an uncompromised bleakness on the coronary heart of the story.
Kasdan’s screenplay offers a sadly timeless commentary on how the music trade exploits its expertise, and even will get away with an ending that manages to imitate each the romanticism and doomed end 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 urged that Farmer isn’t simply educated like a samurai and admires Toshiro Mifune (there’s even a clip of “Yojimbo”) however there’s a placing second involving a sword that, oddly, acts because the movie’s love scene.
That is the sort of film the place Leisure Tonight offers 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: this can be a love story about two individuals who can’t be collectively, and a Whitney Houston automobile that by no means lets Houston sing a tune in its entirety. The previous contact is an asset, whereas the latter is baffling (what had been they considering?).
FAST FACT: When Dolly Parton first heard Whitney Houston’s model of her tune, “I Will Always Love You,” she needed to pull her automotive 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 yr after the prior, sleazier Warner Brothers-distributed fallen secret service thriller “The Last Boy Scout,” Jackson’s movie (regardless of vicious opinions) turned an enormous hit. Sporting the all-time bestselling film soundtrack (as of this writing) and a far grimmer tone than most bear in mind, “The Bodyguard” was considered as extra of a industrial than a artistic success upon its launch.
Taking a look at it right now, 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.