review for My Bodyguard on AllMovie

My Bodyguard (1980)
by Brendon Hanley review

My Bodyguard is propelled by some fine acting from its primarily young cast. The performances of the main teen players (Chris Makepeace, Adam Baldwin, and Matt Dillon) and the supporting adults (Ruth Gordon and Martin Mull) are convincing and genuine. Dillon made a splash in 1979's dystopian Over the Edge, and he stands out here as the creepy school bully. The interplay between Makepeace and Baldwin, however, is the film's most compelling aspect. The film was clearly cast in the same underdog-champion mold of the Rocky films, but it also had a deceptively sweet tone that went against the grain of the usually bitter teen pictures of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Such a sweetness prefigured the explosion of the teen comedy-dramas of the mid-1980s, notably the films of John Hughes. The picture was a critical and popular success, and it marked the feature-film directorial debut of actor-producer Tony Bill.