The Best Movie Bodyguards

Protectors of stars, presidents, and princesses.

27 June 2018

When a hitman needs a bodyguard, you know trouble’s brewing. When that hitman is Samuel L. Jackson and the bodyguard is Ryan Reynolds, you know that trouble’s going to kick ass, mine comedic gold, and probably involve a dirty word, or two, or three.

Before you tune into The Hitman’s Bodyguard this Sunday to watch Reynolds protect Jackson (which, if you think about it, is kind of like Deadpool protecting Nick Fury), let’s take a look at a few of cinema’s best bodyguards.

  1. The Bodyguard

This is the definitive bodyguard movie, thanks in part to its title. Making good use of stars who were slaying the ‘90s, the bodyguard of the title is played by Kevin Costner hot on the heels of his Dancing with Wolves Oscar glory. The body that needs guarding is a stalked songstress, played by Whitney Houston in her feature film debut. Not only the star of the show, Houston was also the powerful voice behind the soundtrack, propelling it to record-setting glory, as it became the top-selling movie soundtrack of all time.

  1. In the Line of Fire

Give him a gun, a horse, or a poncho, Clint Eastwood knows how to handle them. He also knows how to handle the camera, which is why he’s so fond of directing the movies he stars in. But for this movie he hands over the reins to action-maestro Wolfgang Petersen, in which Eastwood is tasked with the most top-notch bodyguarding gig you can get in the States: the Secret Service i.e. protectors of POTUS.

  1. Man on Fire

Hands up if you’d love to have Denzel Washington as your bodyguard! Although we’re not sure hard drinking fits the typical bodyguarding profile. But few do hard-drinking antihero better than Washington, and he’s at his best in Man on Fire, his second collaboration with Tony Scott.

  1. The Princess Diaries

Not all bodyguarding movies are about ammunition and assassinations, because even royalty needs protection. In The Princess Diaries it comes in the form of Joseph, the Queen of Genovia’s head of security, played by the magnificent Héctor Elizondo.

  1. To Live and Die in LA

William Petersen is an actor who ought to be appreciated for far more than his long-lived and much-loved stint on CSI. Long before he hit the streets of Vegas, he played a vengeful Secret Service agent in this William Friedkin-directed thriller. The movie also gets extra cred for being co-written by Gerald Petievich, a former U.S. Secret Service agent.

Will Ryan Reynolds prove as memorable a movie bodyguard as his predecessors? Find out in The Hitman’s Bodyguard, your #SundayNightMovie on 1 July at 20:05 on M-Net.