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Written by / 2/14/2012 / No comments / , , , ,

THE BODYGUARD

year: 1992
title: THE BODYGUARD
cast: Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston
rating: **1/2

In a role that Steve McQueen (with then wife Ali McGraw) was planning to star, Kevin Costner, down to the skin-diver haircut and brooding scowl, channels the icon to the best of his abilities, playing the best bodyguard the world has to offer: hired to protect a primadonna pop diva played by Whitney Houston. The real life singer does a good job acting, though it’s mostly reactions to Costner’s cold indifference, which he pulls of nicely through the first half as their personalities clash: she’s unaware of the danger lurking while he constantly leaps at shadows. But during a pivotal scene at one of her appearances, his paranoia is substantiated and, realizes his job is essential, and her life’s in jeopardy, she melts – a bit too quickly – to his frosty anticharm. The suspense takes hiatus after the leads have a successful first date, resulting in a moonlight sexcapade that puts his job (and the character's maverick persona) at risk. Here’s where the film too hits a wall, sustaining through an overlong segment in a snowy hideaway, an attempt to escape from the killer – who’s close enough to keep a residual of suspenseful mystery building throughout. All leading to an Oscar ceremony where one must sustain disbelief – especially with Robert Wuhl being the host – as the identity of the real killer winds up more predictable than the person who hired him. But for the late Whitney Houston (who died last week), this is a steamy thriller worth watching: she looks beautiful, she sings beautifully, and has good chemistry with her leading man, but mostly when they don’t get along. [And see tons of Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard photos here.]
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