Linderman is not the tough guy he’s been made out to be. He’s shattered by the accidental shooting of his kid brother a year earlier, and his mask of belligerance hides a frightened youngster who hates himself.
In this light, it’s not surprising that Linderman backs down from Moody’s hired thug later on — even allowing him to smash up the motorcycle he spent years restoring, with a little help from Clifford. It may well be that Linderman had never been in a fight before. He’d relied on his reputation and his size to keep the likes of Moody at bay, but he too reacts to a bully with freezing fear.
The bodyguard who’s never thrown a punch: What an audacious concept. I think that’s why I keep coming back to “My Bodyguard” — it continually reveals new layers of truth about what it’s really like to be a teenager, whether an outcast, a bully or the bullied.
from My Bodyguard (1980) : review by Christopher Lloyd