My Bodyguard Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 31, 2012
Clifford Peache: Will you be my bodyguard? I'll pay you fifty cents every day. I'll do your homework for you. I'm pretty smart. 

My Bodyguard isn't a technically well made film by any stretch. It's a movie that doesn't really know what it is. A lot of the time, it feels like a family movie, with patented dialogue for the kids. Then the next minute, there's all this sexual innuendo and violence. The tones of the film are a little off. Still, this is a film I basically enjoyed. It's not a great achievement on any level, but a nice little drama film with some characters you really grow to care for. 

This is another bully movie. Clifford moves into a new school where he is instantly made another victim of the school bully, Moody and his team of goons. Clifford doesn't want to be like all the other kids who pay Moody each day to not get harassed. So he tries to buy protection from a huge kid name Linderman, who has a bunch of legends surrounding his name. He went in a rampage. He rapes teachers. Not even Moody wants to take Lindrrman on. Through hiring him as a bodyguard, the two become good friends. Basically their friendship is what makes the movie. I know it's all a little cliché and all, but when its done right and we actually care about the two of them; it works.

Nothing too special going on here. There's a decent cast, with early roles from Adam Baldwin, Matt Dillon, and Joan Cusack. Chris Makepeace also makes for a decent teenager. He plays the role like a real person. He's every normal teenager you will ever meet. He doesn't play to a certain clique like most movies make all of their characters out to be. In real life, people don't work that way.

It's worth a look if you like movies of this ilk. Other whys I'd suggest skipping it. Tony Bill doesn't do the audience any favors with his direction and the whole movie ends up resting on the relationship between Clifford and Linderman. Luckily the actors were able to pull off their performances with surprising authenticity. 
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
A great teen drama/comedy movie. The story is both quirky and realistic. I really liked this movie, it's fun.
Super Reviewer
July 3, 2010
After all these years I still liked it.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2007
We enjoyed this muchly as kids. It's a poignant movie like a super-version of an Afterschool special. I'm sure it would still go over well with kids today. I don't need to watch it again however.
March 30, 2015
very much a chicago film, filmed all throughout the city, from north side to south side to downtown, and featuring a lot of chicagoans-joan cusack, george wendt, adam baldwin, so i thought that was all very cool, as for the movie itself, its fine, nothing too original or groundbreaking but done well, i enjoyed the relationship that developed between linderman and clifford, and was definitely rooting for them to kick the shit out of matt dillon, who played an asshole very well, and a very nice score by the always talented dave grusin, if you're into chicago movies id definitely recommend it
½ December 30, 2009
A fine story, Chris Makepeace gives a wonderful performance. Enjoyable and it has a wonderful message. Well written with excellent character development.
½ October 26, 2008
At the time, I would have enjoyed beating the hell out of the guys who took their insecurities out on me, but I'm not sure that's a right proper message to send in any film, actually. Still, Adam Baldwin is on Chuck. . .
July 10, 2008
Adam Baldwin, Matt Dillon and a cast of great actors star in this teen drama about a boy who is mercilessly bullied sdo he enlists a huge, lumbering mysterious older boy to be his bodyguard. A triumph of teen life in the start of the 1980s, and best teen flick of the year 1980. (Not to be confused with the much later 'The Bodyguard', which was about an actress and her bodyguard).
½ July 9, 2008
I must have seen this on cable 50 times when I was a kid. I never got sick of it, but then I was only ten.
October 16, 2007
The film addresses the bullying in schools, a nightmare for those students that appear weak, or easy marks for these predators to make a name for themselves among their peers, at the others expense. When Clifford Peache, the son of a hotel manager in Chicago, changes schools, he meets his worst nightmare: Melvin Moody. Melvin terrorizes kids, especially those young and vulnerable. Clifford is the new target for Melvin to bring down and humiliate if he doesn't agree to do whatever he is told. Rick Linderman, the tall and strange guy in Cliff's class is the perfect candidate to be engaged as a body guard for all the kids being abused. In fact, Rick teaches Clifford a lesson when at the end he has to face the mean Melvin, who proves to be a coward, as all bullies are. In his debut performance, Adam Baldwin does a wonderful job portraying the alienated Ricky Linderman, who is seen as a hulking, violent "psychopath" by most of his peers. Baldwin's acting abilities are impressive and he touches the heart of the viewer by showing us Ricky's emotions. It smacks of realism. In fact, the movie not only smacks of realism, but of action and drama, too. Even the ending is realistic. It was a pleasant way to spend an hour and a half.
½ July 18, 2007
Not to be confused with the Kevin Costner-Whitney Houston film, this borderline B-movie offers a really young Matt Dillon playing a punk kid.
May 23, 2007
The best movie of it's kind! Adam Baldwin masterly portrays a tortured soul. This was when he stole my heart!
May 23, 2007
Adam Baldwin's first film, a sensitive, yet realistic teen drama about the strength of Friendship to overcome depression
½ April 15, 2007
A great 1980 film about a teen being faced to deal with a bully and meets a friend who teaches him self-defense. A very great drama film with a great cast.
March 27, 2007
I loved this movie when I was a kid... great story for kids going through similar situations... bullying, etc.
April 9, 2015
Coming of age flick were Dillon announces he'll be a force to be reckoned with now and in the future.
July 28, 2014
The best movie ever shot in Chicago. My favorite coming of age movie of all time!
½ December 10, 2014
I remember liking this movie when I saw it as a grade school kid growing up. It remains a classic, and to me, is more satisfying with each viewing. Perhaps it's because this may just be the most realistic movie about kids, friendship, and growing up I've ever seen. It's refreshing to know that they can make movies about young kids without portraying them as sex maniacs, criminals, or drug users.

My Bodyguard is about a high school student, oddly named Clifford Peache (Chris Makepeace), who is encountering trouble at school. After unwisely insulting a school bully nicknamed "Moody," (played wonderfully by Matt Dillon) he becomes a target. They want him to give them their lunch money, for protection. From who? "From themselves, of course, but that's not what they say.." no, indeed. They tell him they're trying to protect him from a big, tough kid named Ricky Linderman (played by Adam Baldwin in his film debut).

Clifford is somewhat small, he doesn't know how to fight, and he's not very intimidating, thus, he can't really defend himself. So, what he lacks in size, he more than makes up for in intelligence and cleverness. He decides that he wants to pay Ricky Linderman "to be my bodyguard." This is where the movie really begins, and makes an excellent turn.

Linderman is somewhat of an outcast and a loner at school, presumably because of his size, and some unkind rumors milling about the school. He has a reputation for being a psychopathic menace, but as it turns out, he's just a normal kid who experienced a tragic event. Clifford decides to get back at Moody with Linderman watching his back. Linderman is at first a little hesitant to accept Clifford's attempt at creating their friendship. Then, one day after Clifford is caught following his "bodyguard" home, their wonderful, unlikely friendship begins. The bonding sequence between these two unlikely companions is really satisfying to watch.

Not only does Linderman help Cliff, Cliff helps Linderman. Linderman begins to open up, alleviate his shyness, and relate better to people. He begins to understand that there are friends out there, and we all need support. This character transition that Baldwin makes is extremely well-acted and very convincing.

Clifford, we later learn, isn't the only one with tricks up his sleeve. Some scenes later in the movie, like Linderman getting pushed around by another tough kid, are a little difficult and painful to watch. The scenes about Cliff's grandmother (played by the wonderfully funny Ruth Gordon) and Martin Mull as his father trying to keep her under control in the bar of the hotel he manages, don't really go with the other scenes, and are almost like a film-within-a-film. That's easily forgiven and forgotten, though, because of the brilliance of the other parts, especially a great fight scene where everything comes together at the end. I haven't seen too many movies where I've liked the ending as much as this one.

The most gratifying thing about this movie, is perhaps the lessons that can be learned. I loved the scene where Clifford discusses the rumors about Linderman with one of the teachers, who more or less implies that we should judge people and form our own opinions instead of listening to rumors and gossip. Clifford is wise enough not to listen to the rumors. It's nice to know that people can be friends, despite differences in their backgrounds, economic status, or social circles. It reminded me of a line from On Golden Pond spoken by Katherine Hepburn: "Sometimes you have to look hard at a person, and realize they're doing the best they can." My Bodyguard does exactly that.

This is a very suitable film as well as great learning material for any teenager, teacher, or parent. The film is perfectly cast and the performances by the teenagers as well as the adults are fantastic. I liked the performance of Adam Baldwin the best, he starts out looking a little sloppy, scruffy, and primitive, but later goes through a transformation to a well-mannered, polite, affable, approachable young man. He is very convincing playing a kid who is tough, scared, sad, and angry at the same time. To make a treasure and a classic movie like this about teenagers and high school was some kind of miracle, and wonderful.
½ November 9, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
June 1, 2014
This Film Just Came Out 34 Years Old Back In 1980.
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