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Thursday, April 29, 2021


Bodyguard | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix
Netflix 6 one-hour episodes

All spoilers.

Tough guy David Budd leads a fantastically charmed life. He spots a brown person behaving suspiciously at the a railroad station and subsequently foils a suicide bomber. Then he gets assigned to the Home Secretary in the UK's government as her PPO (Personal Protection Officer). One evening he's drinking with a badly scarred veteran. Not too much later that same veteran attempts to take out the Home Secretary with a high powered rifle. David foils this assassination attempt and his drinking buddy ends up dead. Then the Home Secretary decides to make a speech at St. Matthews and she gets blowed up. In spite of rushing toward the threat, David escapes getting hisself blowed up. Like I said, he lives a charmed life. Anyway, there's something fishy going on. Someone tampers with his hidden gun. Someone erases 17 minutes of security footage from the hotel's security cameras. There are any number of suspicious characters, but whodunnit? 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. On the good side, technical matters were pretty accurately depicted. On the bad side, the amount of brutality and the convoluted plot beggar belief. Yes, it could have happened like that as long as that was the single incidence within 10,000 years on this planet.

We've got a tough guy bodyguard. We've got him looking prim and proper, ready and willing to take on any bad guy who is dares to step out of line. On the other side, he's got a bad case of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from his tour of duty in Afghanistan, but he's a tough guy, he won't go to counseling, he can handle it. He can apparently handle it at work but it's wrecking his home life.

He's assigned to the Home Secretary (some sort of high level government official in the UK (England)), a middle aged woman. They have a routine for transporting her from home to work and wherever else she goes. They have a two car convoy and are in constant radio communication with a central control station. They are walking out of the building and it's "2-79 dogbutt road Lavender leaving" or "2-79 dogbutt road Lavender en route" or some such. None of this 'good day, hi, how are ye' nonsense, Lavender being the Home Secretary's code name, dogbutt being my code name for whatever street they were on. And note this was radio communication, not cell phones. 

Whenever she goes home or someplace unknown, he always makes her wait by the door while he makes a quick survey of the place. All a quick survey like that is going to do is verify that no one else is in the house and someone hasn't busted a window. Something like this only works if you have a house that can be surveyed in couple of minutes. I imagine if you went to someplace that was much bigger, you would have to establish limits, mark all the points of egress and ingress into 'your space'. The more you can limit them the better.

The show has all the high ranking police officials as women. Our tough guy's boss is a woman, as is her boss. There are several other women. The men are just like background in this story. I remember one male, Indian policeman, the rest are just noise.

Lavender is trying to get a bill passed in Parliament that would give the government broader powers of surveillance. She wants it because it will help in her fight against terrorism. Little does she know, the local crime lord is opposed to it because it will also expose his crimes to the light of day, and we certainly can't have that, so he devises a plot to assassinate the Home Secretary and frame the Bodyguard for the crime. You know this was dreamed up in some opium smoker's lair.

First, he gets a brown skinned couple to play jihadist. We don't see much of the man, but because he obviously forced his wife to where the suicide vest, we know he must be an evil misogynistic Muslim, and his fifteen year old wife is totally under his control. They stage a suicide bomber attack on a train, the very train that our tough guy bodyguard is riding home with his kids. David talks the woman into surrendering, the bomb is disarmed and she and her husband are arrested.

Next we have a fellow vet from Afghanistan with a badly scarred face. He's ranting about Julia's bill and how something should be done to stop her. He takes a high-powered rifle to the top of six story building and puts a couple dozen rounds into Julia's armored lux-mobile. The first one kills the driver (yes, the driver, separate from the bodyguard), the remainder break out the glass in the windows and punch holes in the sides, but because the sides are armored, they don't go through, so our hapless couple manage to escape relatively unscathed. The armored coppers take their time getting there, so our hero ends up driving the car out of the scene. Were the armored coppers somehow delayed? I mean, how soon can you expect them to get there from X miles away? I think they would take at least a couple of minutes and maybe a lot longer. And you're in a high stress situation so every second feels like an eternity. Any delay when you are getting shot at is going to seem unreasonable. The shooter ends up shooting himself with a handgun. Two guns, in the UK. It's a friggin' miracle. But wait! There's more - the big gun can't be traced, but our guy, who knows what's what, knows where to go to find out, which entrains a whole 'nother series of events. The lady is understandable shook up and seeks comfort and reassurance in the embrace of her bodyguard which, naturally enough, leads to frolicing. 

The attack with the high powered rifle failed, but our hero has been involved in two high profile incidents. Could he somehow be involved? People start looking sideways.

There are several more incidents, I'm not quite sure what order they happened in, but I don't think it matters much. One has a counter-terrorism squad following a known bunch of jihadi-wanna-be's who pick up a truck and head for the school David's kids attend. The attack fails. The wanna-be's truck crashes a hundred yards from the school and blows up, killing the jihadi's and a couple of coppers. Once again, another high-profile incident involving our hero. Shit's getting deep, man.

David falls in a mental hole and attempts suicide by shooting himself in the head with his handgun. The attempt fails because someone replaced the bullets with blanks. He survived, presumably because his handgun was some kind of weak sister, not a 45 like a real man [tm] would carry. I remember that umpteen years ago, some B-level Hollywood actor was playing Russian Roulette with his friends using a 44 Magnum or some such, loaded with blanks. It went off and even though there were no bullets, the blast from the charge was enough to kill him. So now David is walking around with the side of his face covered with blood and what looks a bullet sized dent in the side of his head.

Then there is another attack on the Home Secretary. This one happens while she is giving a speech at St. Mathews church. There is bomb planted under the stage. It's a pretty fancy bomb. The bomb squad thinks it must have been sealed in an airtight container. How else could it have escaped detection by the bomb sniffing canines when the place was swept, twice, before the speech. From the bits and pieces they recovered they surmise that is was set off by a pressure sensor. They logically deduce that it must also have had a remote control to arm it so that it would not be set off prematurely by some errant janitor or other person we don't care about. But the lady gets up on the stage without setting off the bomb, so they send a hapless underling to deliver a briefcase to the Secretary. David and another security person, a woman, both rush the stage when they see the underling walking toward the secretary, though we don't know why. Possibly because the woman wasn't informed about this and David because the woman was running. The bomb goes off as he is walking across the stage. Anyway, the Secretary, the underling and the security woman are all killed in the blast, presumably along with several other people. And David was there. Again. By this time, any agency with a brain would have suspended this guy, and maybe they do, but that ain't stopping him.

Now we get to the climax. Chanel, a pert young woman, formerly employed by the Secretary and escorted out the building when she blew up at the secretary when she got fired / quit. She evidently has independent means because a driver picks her up and carries her around in big black Range Rover. Turns out she has ties to the big time crime boss. She meets the unsuspecting David for drinks at a nice public restaurant, but it's a set up. The crime boss and a couple of his thugs corral David and hustle him out the front door, apologizing to the other patrons that he has a had a bit too much to drink. I'm not quit sure how they disabled him, a hypodermic or maybe chloroform. Whatever it was it was pretty quick acting and didn't attract much attention from the public. David probably gets beat up, but he's been beat so many times it's gotten to be a bit of a blur. 

Whatever, he wakes up dumped in some rat hole, strapped into a suicide vest with a dead man switch taped to his thumb. If he releases pressure on the switch, the bomb goes off, so don't take the tape off. Anyway, he stumbles out into the street, his suicide vest concealed under a poncho he has improvised from some some kind tarp he found, manages to get a passerby to call the police. Meanwhile the police have decided that he is totally wrapped up with the bad guys and now they descend on him in force. We have a Mexican stand-off. If they shoot him, his thumb relaxes, the bomb goes off and ilya beaucoup de destruction hits the neighborhood, so they march him to a nearby park where the only damage will be to sum bushes and trees. Now the bomb squad shows up but they don't want to tackle defusing this bomb. Wimpy bomb squad. This stand off goes of for what feels like hours. The producers really milked it for every little bit of pseudo pathos they could. Pretty stinking ridiculous. The wife manages to save her husband by walking right up to him. If they shoot him and the bomb goes off, she dies, and while the po-po don't mind if the miscreant blows himself up, they can't have any civilians getting killed, so they wait.

David and his wife walk to their house surrounded by a battalion of police maintaining a safe blast distance. David sends his wife into the house for a rope and shovel. She takes the rope and climbs down the wall on the other side of parapet that is on the other side of the road from their house. She digs up a computer tablet that contains all the secret information that everyone is supposedly trying to keep hidden, carries it back up and turns it over to the police.

David disarms his bomb. While he is doing this he is hollering for everyone to get back like they aren't already half a mile away, but evidently his hollering causes enough panic that they start moving even farther back and in the confusion David finishes defusing the bomb and leaps over the parapet, discards his suicide vest and vanishes into the bushes. In central London. Sure, why not?

David sets up Chanel the same way she set him up and gets her to get the crime boss to show up whereupon he gets arrested. And everyone lives happily ever after. Except his boss's boss, who was dirty.

Now we go visit the poor, exploited, 15 year-old, jihadist wife and find out that she is a fanatic in her own right and was in on the scheme from the get-go. She exults in all the carnage she managed to create. Did not see that coming.

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