July, 1980: My Bodyguard

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Most teen-centric movies in the 1980s were centered around popularity, sex, and revenge; hey, John Hughes made a career out of it. My Bodyguard is different and it centers around one of the most basic, human needs– safety.

Like the title implies, the script focuses on an unlikely hero and unwilling bodyguard named Ricky Linderman. Rumors throughout the town seem to imply that Linderman was involved in some nefarious activities– some say murder, some say rape, and various other horrible things. During Linderman’s absence from school, an opportunistic bully named Moody charges wimpy kids a “bodyguard fee.” This really means that he won’t beat the snot out of them in exchange for their lunch money.

When a new kid in town, Clifford, is unaware of Moody’s racket, he challenges the bully and ends up paying for it in the form of threats and intimidation. Soon after that, Linderman returns to school and Clifford encourages him to do the right thing and protect the squares of the school. The two become friends and end up ousting Moody who, in turn, hires his own bodyguard that beats up Linderman. He returns under the guidance of Clifford and trounces Moody’s new bodyguard, then coaches Clifford through the steps of a fight to defeat Moody. In the end, everyone is happy except for the bullies, and Linderman has his reputation in the town cleared.

While it’s refreshing that this movie focuses on some of the more “wholesome” aspects of teen life, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good movie.

There are multiple plots and characters that never find resolution and don’t enhance the story in any way. The grandma, credited as “Gramma” on IMDb, seemingly exists only to be an oddball and Clifford’s single father is a creep that watches women through a telescope on the top-level of the hotel he manages. The sound design is what can only be labeled as abysmal. There are many points in the film where white-noise or crowd-noise makes it extremely difficult to hear what’s going on and levels seem to jump randomly throughout the course of the film; the punches in the fight scenes also sound like someone hitting a pillow with a baseball bat.

Nothing makes this film truly special and that’s probably why it was ultimately forgotten in the 80s teen pantheon. It’s worth a watch if you like pizza with too much cheese or overly sweet cake.

Matt's rating: 2/5
Gabe's rating: 3.5/5
Rewind Cinema composite: 5.5/10

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