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My Bodyguard Reviews

Page 1 of 9

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.
James A

Super Reviewer

July 3, 2010
After all these years I still liked it.
Lafe F

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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
February 1, 2014
I love this movie. A good mix of drama and humor. Some times bullies need to have their freakin noses broken (if you've seen it, you might chuckle at that).
Critic Master
July 30, 2013
Fun, energetic and an 80's essential. "My Bodyguard" delivers a great film in the style of the first "Karate Kid" that captures a unique era, and tells an excellent story. The cast is perfect and the entire script is filled with ups and downs everyone can enjoy.
June 4, 2013
I rediscovered this movie on of the ones that shaped me.....still great
November 13, 2012
Fantastic time-warp of a flick
March 6, 2012
You Remind Me of a Very Young Jayne Cobb

When I was in high school, we used to talk about how our school stacked up to the schools in the movies. Until today, I'd never seen this, which came out fifteen years before I graduated, but it was not enormously similar to what we experienced every day. By high school, the importance of bullies was somewhat lessened compared to the very real issue of gang fights. There were still bullies, but you had to be careful who you picked on, even if they looked weak, because you never knew who they were going to be connected to in a way which could get you seriously hurt if someone decided to take notice. Bullies were much more of an elementary school problem for me, and by junior high, I was part of a large social group which precluded bullying, because you would have had to have isolated someone. Not easy, all things considered. So by sixth grade, the bigger problem for me was emotional abuse instead of the classic "beat them up and steal their lunch money."

Clifford Peache (Chris Makepeace) is not so lucky. He and his family have just moved to Chicago, where his father (Martin Mull) is the manager of the Ambassador East Hotel. Although he's picked up and dropped off by a hotel limo, Clifford is sent to public school. A particularly grim one at that. When he's there, Clifford falls afoul of Moody (Matt Dillon), school bully. Moody has a racket where he gets all the kids to pay him protection money, as much as a dollar a day (in 1980!). Moody claims that this money pays for him and his band of thugs to protect the kids from the mysterious and ominous Ricky Linderman (Adam Baldwin in his first film role). Clifford refuses to pay, and eventually, he gets the idea that perhaps he should be paying Linderman protection money instead. Which is a kind of logic. Only Linderman isn't really going for it, and Clifford must talk him into becoming part of their group to keep them safe from Moody.

The character of Linderman is from a long line of "scary high school outsider," another notable example of which is Heath Ledger's character in [i]10 Things I Hate About You[/i]. Rumours abound at this school about exactly what Linderman has done--I was a little taken aback by the suggested possibility that he had raped a teacher and frankly stunned that the kids thought he could have shot a cop and not, you know, ended up in prison. Patrick Verona's allegedly having eaten a duck pales in comparison. Adam Baldwin was eighteen when he made this movie and looks it. He looks a little older than his costars (in two years, Makepeace would go on to look younger than his costars in [i]Mazes & Monsters), even though he and Joan Cusack, at least, are the same age. This is one of the only things I've seen him in where he wasn't playing a sociopath, just a big guy who developed a reputation and has a terrible secret. He's willing to intimidate, but he does not want to fight.

I didn't think we really needed the family subplot. Oh, I love Ruth Gordon, but she was fading by 1980. I'd rather remember her as Maude, not as a boozy, flirtatious grandmother. I suppose Martin Mull is important because he ends up having to learn to stand up for himself as well, but so what? Exploring the relationship among the kids was more worthwhile. I especially liked that Linderman was so clearly interested in Shelley (Cusack) but afraid to tell her. That was more interesting than Clifford's grandmother hitting on some married man from Cincinnati in front of his wife. More interesting than her hitting it off with John Houseman. I suppose the lesson is that bullies are always with us, in one way or another, and learning to stand up for yourself is A Valuable Lesson, even for adults. Well, okay; I get that. But I think it only served to weigh down the movie, which was better served by just being about how much it can suck to be a kid.

Related to that is the fact that the teachers in this movie are all but invisible except when they're busy making things more difficult for the kids. Clifford starts his stint at this particular school in the homeroom of Ms Jump (Kathryn Grody), who sees what's going on because it happens in her classroom. But she doesn't do anything about it. It even seems that there is no one teaching gym, and that it's more a free-for-all in which no one cares that Moody has slammed into Clifford for making a particularly smooth move during basketball which shows Moody up. The movie shows the Code of the School that you can never, never get adults involved. But why don't the adults involve themselves? After all, while they may not know that Moody is extorting bus fare and lunch money from easily half the student body (surely he should be better dressed!), they can't help noticing when someone breaks into a kid's locker and dumps garbage into it, can they? I suspect, if it were covered by the film, the adults would say that learning to stand up to bullies builds character. Or, you know, breaks spirits.
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