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80`s Greatness! Seen it about 10 times.
A true classic form 1980!
Timid high school student who is fed up with being bullied decides to hire a muscle bound classmate for protection. It's a matter of time before the two become good friends. This teen drama is sincere and its performances by the teen cast is remarkable.
I hadn't seen this film since I saw it in the theater with my parents back when I was a wee lad. I remember being very fond of it at the time. It hasn't held up quite as much as I would have liked. It has a lot of things going for it. Matt Dillon, just a year after his film debut in "Over the Edge", and Adam Baldwin in his film debut are both excellent. So is much of the supporting cast, in particular Martin Mull as Chris Makepeace's dad. Makepeace I'm not so fond of. I think he's a remarkably weak lead. Ruth Gordon is also not in her best form. I don't think it's her fault. She's got a generic, foul-mouthed granny character to play, and she gamely tries to make it more than the dull character it is. (The less said about John Houseman's brief appearance as an old man with the hots for her the better). The score is simply terrible. Generally speaking, this is a nice, entertaining film that is nowhere near as special as it's critical reception would lead you to believe. It's a kind of refreshing throwback to the late 70's that actually endorses violence in the hands of the right people as a means of solving problems ... and does it in the context of a family film. Joan Cusack, Tim Kazurinsky, Dean Devlin (yes, that Dean Devlin) and an uncredited Jennifer Beals all make their film debuts here. George Wendt also has a tiny part.
Good coming-of-age flick set in Chicago. I had not seen it since I was a teenager myself. So many films in the 1980s cast twenty-something actors as teenagers and were sex comedies, slob comedies (the latter two often intersected) or featured some guy in a hockey goalie mask killing teenagers. My Bodyguard actually captured just how difficult it is finding yourself in high school, on the edge of adulthood, and the fear of being the outsider, the kid who doesn't fit in. This film deals with the unlikely friendship between two outsiders. Chris Makepeace plays a shy, bookish student who has just moved to Chicago and finds his life being made miserable by a group of bullies led by a smarmy Matt Dillon. The picked-upon outsider then engages the services of a feared outsider played by Adam Baldwin to be his bodyguard; Baldwin's hulking character who is rumored to have shot a kid/shot a cop/beat up a teacher/raped a teacher/etc. is feared by all kids in the school, including the bullies but is actually emotionally wounded and just as vulnerable as anyone else. Makepeace and Baldwin's characters bond and become good friends but Dillon seeks out his own champion to challenge Baldwin and our two heroes have to stand up and fight their mutual bullies in the end. The stuff with Martin Mull and Ruth Gordon playing Makepeace's character's father and grandmother seems to have arrived in this movie from some Sitcom. In addition we have an early role by Joan Cusack, a pre-Cheers George Wendt (he was still in Chicago's Second City troupe at the time), and a very pre-Flashdance Jennifer Beals in an un-credited role. Dillon would go on to play more sympathetic characters in several future adaptations of S.E. Hinton novels. More Baldwins (and Cusacks) would appear in future films.
Coming of age flick were Dillon announces he'll be a force to be reckoned with now and in the future.
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
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.
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
The best movie ever shot in Chicago. My favorite coming of age movie of all time!