Not that this is a good movie, but it's got redeeming traits.
Born to Defend isn't a good movie by any means. The villains are crazily exaggerated, and the Chinese were just too victimized. I know the American military has done a crapload of bad stuff, but there's only so much a viewer can take. I'd be alright if the movie portrayed them as evil people rather than Satan spawn. candy's supposed to be sweet, that's why we like it, but it can be sickening if it's too sweet. Most movies have a villain, and it generally helps the movie, but if that character is taken overboard, it just gets redundant and disgusting.
A Chinese person watching this movie must be some sort of masochist. I wouldn't want to see how terribly any foreigners victimized me. An American watching this movie must be a bit horrified, and a bit annoyed at how evil the navy is. Overall, it's not entertaining.
What i'm conflicted about is this: Why is it that such interesting action sequences are put in such a bad movie? I will say that while it is not edited well, and it's not of the highest quality in terms of lighting and camera work, The action scenes in "Born to Defend" are some of the best in any Jet Li movie. It's fast paced, contact is hard, and Jet Li moves like never before. The characters actually have very dramatic reactions to blows. The display of pain is well done. The characters also get winded when hit hard; that's something you don't see much in a movie. I'm not saying the fight scenes are realistic, no, far from it, but it's more dramatic with the sense of mortality it gives the characters.
A lot of people say Fist of Legend has Jet's best work. I believe this movie to be superior in terms of action. Jet Li is far too stiff in fist of legend, and he doesn't really seem to get hurt, even after being hit 30 times by a guy who can break bricks. Born to Defend features a very fluid Jet Li who's clearly very fragile, as any human is anyway. The fight scenes are also not over the top. You won't 2 people simultaneously jumping 10 feet into the air and then kicking each other both in the face.
While i can't bear the movie, many of the action scenes completely avoids my peeves with the genre.
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