Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

This particular day started out like any other day for super duper body guard John Ridley (Til Schweiger), that is until his body guarding best friend told him he wasn’t wearing his body armor because it was ‘too hot’. Or otherwise he’d rather die than sweat. Sure, I can get with that. This day John and his partner are guarding some right wing presidential candidate when John sees the glint of the gun in distance with his super body-guarding peripheral vision. I will admit I don’t know the rules of body guarding someone… well, check that because I know one rule and that rule would be ‘Never Leave your Client’. I only know that rule because the rule was recited to John by the evil hitman Lee Maxwell (Chazz Palminteri) after Ridley left his client and got the bitch shot to death. But I’m thinking other rules should be ‘Don’t run towards gunfire with your client in tow’, or perhaps ‘find cover with your client instead of fleeing to a large open spaces with your client’. And another good rule would be ‘wear your body armor even when it’s hot outside because your sternum is not bullet-proof’. I’m just guessing on these rules because I’ve never body guarded anybody, but they do seem somewhat logical to me. That being said, thanks to this movie ‘Body Armour’ I think I actually know less about the craft of body guarding after seeing this body guarding movie.

This unfortunate event in John’s life happened years ago and in effect has ruined his life by costing him his job, his woman and his dignity as he spends his days living in crap neighborhoods teaching underprivileged kids how to box. Then his most trusted former boss Mr. Graver (Lluis Homar) tracks him down and offers a plum gig to return him to his former glory. Apparently there’s this ace government witness that needs a bodyguard and he will only testify, and bring down the entire European mob, if John Ridley is assigned to protect him. Ridley balks at first but eventually he coalesces and takes this gig. Who is this guy who wants him and only him? Well I’m guessing

you know already… the evil Lee Maxwell. Does this make John happy? Well… no, but Maxwell figures since John wants to kill him so bad he’ll protect him with his very life until he testifies, thus giving John the go ahead to kill the cur himself. Makes total sense to me. As a side note we have observed that Maxwell coughed. As we have often observed… cough in real life get a cough drop, cough in the movies... YOU’RE GONNA DIE!

Well the European mob has no intention of letting Maxwell make it to D.C. to testify. Ridley has to protect him in Barcelona. You could ask the question why is the FBI involved in protecting witnesses in Europe to testify against the Mob in Europe in a trial that’s going to take place in Washington D.C.? You could ask, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Anyway the mob sends their best to take this guy out but their best isn’t nearly good enough to get past Ridley ‘who is the best at what he does’. Unfortunately there is a cat on the inside working against Ridley… no surprises there either. The question is can Ridley and Maxwell put aside their differences and make it to the testifying finish line… and save Maxwell’s daughter in the process? Did I mention the daughter earlier? He has a daughter. What good is a movie like this if there’s no damsel in distress?

We do love us some stupid action flicks over here at the FCU… but even we have our limits. Aside from the fact that Til Schweiger’s character of John Ridley is quite possibly the worst bodyguard on the planet earth, ‘Body Armour’ doesn’t do anything… anything to make itself special or unique or slightly different from the slew of action flicks that have come before it, and the spate that will follow. It’s not a particularly bad movie… but then we actually wouldn’t have minded bad too much because if this were bad then it wouldn’t have been so damn mediocre. It’s almost as if there was an action movie checklist the filmmakers were working off of. Title which sounds pretty cool which realistically has almost nothing to do with the movie? Check. Beat down hero looking for retribution? Check. Damsel in distress who contributes almost nothing to the narrative - not even gratuitous nudity? Check. Duplicitous boss? Duplicitous Bosses asshole assistant? It’s all there and more.

Since ‘Body Armour’ is an action movie it does have plenty of mindless shootouts, fist fights and car chases, but even those are fairly mediocre, giving us nothing that we haven’t seen before time and time again.

If anything good can be said about ‘Body Armour’ it would be that the filmmakers here do have the basic concept of action filmmaking down pat. Now all we need them to do is learn how to add something to the genre to make it somewhat entertaining. ‘Body Armour’ just ain't that.

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