New on Blu-ray: The Bodyguard (1992)

Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard (1992) Movie Image

He may not look like much, but that’s what makes it such a great disguise. He’s Frank Farmer, the unassuming looking, but highly capable bodyguard of director Mick Jackson’s 1992 movie “The Bodyguard”, the film that launched Whitney Houston as more than just a pretty face that can sing, she can act, too. Well, sort of. The film is scheduled to arrive on Blu-ray for the first time on March 27, 2012 courtesy of Warner Home Video. If you’ve been a fan of the movie from the very beginning (and I count myself as one), then this is what you’ve been waiting for. And even if you’re not? Well, it’s still a pretty damn good movie, anyway.

She’s safe now. Safe from hordes of screaming, grasping fans. Safe from demanding kooks who pop up unexpectedly. Safe from the unknown killer stalking her every move. She’s in the arms of The Bodyguard. Starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston and featuring songs from the #1 soundtrack album (including Houton’s hits “I Will Always Love You” and “I Have Nothing”), The Bodyguard has it all: Suspense. Thrills. Romance. Peril. Passion. And the shining brilliance of two great stars. In her spectacular film debut, Houston plays Rachel Marron, a music/movie superstar at her peak. Fans want to see her, hear her, touch her. But one wants to kill her – and that’s where security expert Frank Farmer(Costner) comes in. Farmer is a professional who never lets his guard down. Rachel’s glamorous life often puts her at risk. Each expects to be in charge. What they don’t expect is to fall in love

In the world of fearsome movie bodyguards, Kevin Costner’s Frank Farmer falls somewhere between mild-mannered and deceivingly dangerous. When the chips are down, you wouldn’t mind having him watching your back, but if you needed to intimidate some people, he might not be the best choice. That boy scout haircut certainly doesn’t help, either.

Make no mistake about it, it’s Kevin Costner who carries “The Bodyguard”. Costner is in his perfect element playing the square, earnest-to-a-fault hero who wants nothing more than to do the job, go it well, and get on with it. Please, don’t bother him with all your other nonsense; he’s here on a mission, and everything else are just distractions. Unfortunately for Frank Farmer, pop singer Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston) makes for one hell of a distraction, and even the best, most stoic bodyguard out there can’t help but be drawn in by her allure. Can our hero, who feels special kinship to the ronin of Akira Kurosawa’s “Yojimbo”, survive this very deadly — but possibly very rewarding — trap?

“The Bodyguard” finds Farmer, a former Secret Service agent, being hired on by Rachel’s manager to beef up her private and public security after a series of threatening letters show up at her doorsteps. As the threats against Rachel increases, Farmer finds that he has to contend with more than just a dangerous stalker — Rachel’s staff, her fame, and Rachel herself become some of his biggest obstacles to protecting his client. And oh yeah, did I also mention that he eventually ends up falling in love with her, too? For a man who lives by a simple code of professionalism first, this is quite the dilemma for our boy scout.

Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard (1992) Movie Image

“The Bodyguard” is a love story with spurts of action. Which is to say, if you’re an action junkie, this isn’t the movie for you. Farmer throws down when he needs to, but the action is usually pretty quick and nothing, say, along the lines of a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie. The film’s big action scene is at the end (with a snow shoot-out in-between), but even that isn’t what you would call “spectacle”. At over two hours long, the film does tend to meander a bit, with an at-times forced romance between the two leads. What the film does have going for it is a fantastic soundtrack and plenty of mainstream appeal. Houston, in her feature film debut, brings the right balance of sass and talent to the part, but it’s pretty obvious she’s new at the gig. While you probably won’t completely buy the romance between Rachel and Farmer, I’m not sure it really matters, as the film just seems to just, well, work. Look, I can’t really explain it, but “The Bodyguard” just works for me, even 20 years later.

“The Bodyguard” Blu-ray release couldn’t have come at a better time. Besides being the film’s 20th anniversary, it also makes a fine tribute to the late Whitney Houston. In a lot of ways, despite this being her first foray into movies, “The Bodyguard” is Houston’s best and most memorable work. The film shows her at her most raw as an actress and at her most accomplished as a singer and showman. If you’ve only seen the film on TV or cable, the Blu-ray transfer is worth it and the soundtrack still as excellent as ever. Special features include a 26-minute “Memories of the Bodyguard” featurette, featuring interviews with cast and crew (including Houston) about the making of the film, music video for the film’s signature song, Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”, and theatrical trailer.

Buy “The Bodyguard” for the first time on Blu-ray March 27, 2012 from Warner Home Video.

The Bodyguard (1992) Movie Blu-ray Cover