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Body Armour
cast: Chazz Palminteri, Til Schweiger

director: Gerry Lively

87 minutes (15) 2008
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Momentum DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by James A. Stewart
I always hate it when I see an actor who has previously performed above himself in a superb film turn his hand to B-rate claptrap and simply coast through. And this is exactly what The Usual Suspects' Chazz Palminteri does in the ham-tastic movie Body Armour.

In what amounts to one of the most cliché ridden movies I have ever reviewed, Body Armour plods along with the attitude that if credibility were more important that plot consistency then we won't have a movie. Til Schweiger (King Arthur) takes on the lead role of Joseph Ridley, a veteran bodyguard haunted by the assassination of his presidential candidate charge a few years earlier. Ridley was badly injured in the murder and many of his fellow bodyguards killed. In the intervening years he has bummed around a boxing gym lamenting his failure.

He was the best in the game, and is approached by a government official to protect a key witness who has been placed in protective custody. But hold on! The man he reluctantly agrees to protect is the criminal turncoat, Lee Maxwell (Palminteri), the very man who murdered Ridley's former employer and who previously left the bodyguard for dead. What are the chances? I ask you. Sheesh... But it is okay, Ridley sees this as an opportunity to engage Maxwell again, and plans to exact revenge after the trial.

The whole movie is pretty incredulous. The idea of doing witness protection in a massive cosmopolitan city like Barcelona is surely nonsense. On one hand the logic of a big crowd of people to get lost in works, but on the other, this is a city visited by literally millions of tourists each year, did the feds not think that a well-kept criminal like Maxwell may be inadvertently spotted by tourist? Most of the action scenes move at the pace of chronic arthritis sufferer. And even the good ones are so full of mistakes and holes that you start to think that Body Armour is maybe a spoof; but of what I don't know. The basics of witness protection seem to have been forgotten by Ridley, despite his status as the best guard in town. The bad guys are so bad that they are good, at least in an acting sense, and the rather tenuous redemption subplot adds little value.

Yep, Body Armour is not that great. It'll be on Channel 5, one bleak Tuesday night in November, no doubt. Many insomniacs will watch it, none will remember it. It's instantly forgettable and pretty bland tripe.

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