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Bodyguard from Beijing is a HK remake of Hollywood's The Bodyguard starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. But HK's version is quite different and a whole lot better. First of all, the relationship between the two stars of the movie (Jet Li and Christy Chung) has more tension and is more believable. And the action is incomparable. The shopping mall scene and especially the end fighting scene are simply too awesome to describe. You have to see it for yourself. Albeit the fact that there are some melodramatic scenes, this movie is a must for any Jet Li fan or wushu/action fan.
I am a big fan of Jet Li, and absolutely loved this film. It is beautiful and very sad. Brilliant work by all the actors and the fight scenes were great. The ending was not quite what I expected - warning! not like the Hollywood endings!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Bodyguard from Bejing (aka the Defender) is a great Jet Li movie. When I
first rented it, I was expecting action, action, and more action. To my
delight, I was wrong! Even though I like to see action, I was happy to see
Jet in a semi-romantic role. The tension and angst between himself, Christy
Cheung, and her rich boyfriend is really nicely done, and the romantic
scenes are perfect (although I REALLY wish Jet had kissed her!).
Alot of people also dislike Christy Cheung's character. She is whiny, high-tempered and spoiled, right? Jet's character has invaded her life, and totally changed it. She has every right to be angry with him, and act like a brat. She doesn't treat other people that way. Her character is sweet, friendly, and charming when Jet isn't around. Her behavior toward Jet changes when she begins to fall in love with him. And he in turn softens as time goes by.
There was also a surprising amount of guns and bullets. Usually Jet is all hands and feet, but this time it's more like guns and... more guns. Alot of Jet's got upset about how much gunplay there was, but I say variety is the spice of life. You can rent Meltdown or Hero if you want kung-fu.
Although the picture and sound quality make you think the movie was done in the 50s, the film itself is great. There's comedy, mystery, romance, and of course action! Must see for any Jet fan!
The first thing you will notice about this Hong Kong version of 'The
Bodyguard' is the incredibly awful dubbing. I've seen badly dubbed
films before, but never anything quite like this. It's so bad, in fact,
that it almost seems like someone hired voice actors that were nothing
like the actor that they were dubbing out of spite. Maybe the director,
or Jet Li annoyed the man in charge of voice actor casting, and he
thought he'd get his own back. Perhaps the director requested terrible
dubbing to give the film a seemingly unintentional comedy element?
Whatever the reason; the dubbing in this film is poor. Very poor
Incredibly awful dubbing aside (and it is awful, make no mistake), the film does feature some nice moments. The story follows that of a young girl who is one of three witnesses to a murder. The other two have been killed in "accidents", so the girl's rich boyfriend hires her a bodyguard (complete with terrible dubbing) to protect her. Naturally, the two gradually fall in love as the film progresses. As I said, despite it's awful dubbing; the film does feature some nice moments. One of which involves an assassin taking out several guards with a bayonet, another of which involves an awfully dubbed kid exchanging his pretend gun with a police officer's, with hilarious comedy consequences, and naturally for a Jet Li film; there's Kung Fu, and lots of it.
The film has a rather profound element of comedy entwined within it's plot. As you know, there's an unintentional element, which is a result of the undeniably poor dubbing, and there's also an intentional element, which mostly comes from the little kid and the fat police officer. The cast on display here is nothing to write home about, and they're all poorly dubbed too. Jet Li takes the lead role, and he does fine (but nowhere near as good as he would do eight years later in the sublime 'Ying Xiong').
As I said, the dubbing in this movie is awful. Really, really bad and it does go some way to spoiling the entire thing. It's so bad that it's almost farcical, and at times it's hard to keep a straight face; which does the movie no favours in the credibility department. However, luckily for Jet Li and co; this movie is entertaining enough to just beat the awful dubbing. It's not a great film, but it is good and I recommend it to anyone that just wants to be entertained for an hour and a half. Or for anyone that wants to see proof of why subtitles are better than dubbing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Watched the film again last night and realized how cool it is. The
ending scene is one of the most brutal, brilliant and exciting
action-movie scenes in general. The characters were all fun and
entertaining, and often say funny things, but that might be thanks to
the great voice-actors. The fighting is (mostly?) wire-free, which is
just how we like it. And me having studied the art of Karate for 6
months I can say the 2 main characters both display awesome techniques.
The only thing that bothered me in this movie was ---> SPOILER the bullet-time sequence which apparently this movie invented, and not Matrix. Everything else was somewhat realistic, but they went a little overboard in the very end.
If you like Corey Yuen's balletic gunfighting, more recently demonstrated in 2002's "So Close," then you will enjoy the earlier "Bodyguard from Beijing." This film is fun to watch, and manages to produce some surprises despite the formulaic bodyguard-and-rich-bratty-girl plot. The schmaltzy sequence with the song is the only part where the movie drags. However, given Yuen's preference for gunplay, Jet Li fans are apt to be disappointed, since Li has less opportunity to showcase his kung fu skills. Christy Cheung gets the job done in the damsel-in-distress role, and to paraphrase Dorothy Parker, she plays the range of emotions from A to B.
This film is pretty entertaining. But this film has about 3 action scenes were "Jet Li" shoots people with a gun. And he killed like a 100 people!! There's also a brief fight and a classic fight scene at the end of the film. The story is also good. But this isn't your usual Jet Li film because it contains less action then any other of his films. But this film is really good to watch for a good story with a action twist. If you like Jet Li you will probably like this film. So go rent this film now!!
*** stars out of ****
The Bodyguard from Beijing is an action thriller that mixes romance and humor. The plot is mainly a backdrop for some grand shootouts and martial arts sequences, but it does have some moments of characterization. The movie may not be as jaw dropping as some of Jackie Chan's films (or some of Li's other works) but it delivers the expected action and thrills. The film is basically about a bodyguard (Jet Li) who is hired to protect a beautiful woman (Christy Chung) after she witnessed a murder. Now, many people will stop at nothing to have her killed and Li has invoked the wrath of a dangerous ex-soldier whose brother Li killed.
I was surprised by the fact that there was more shootouts and gunplay than Li's usual kung fu, but the shootouts were quite thrilling and entertaining, particularly the mall sequence that almost gets a bit absurd in the amount of people carrying guns inside. For a while there (due to the amount of gunplay) I was expecting Chow-Yun Fat to just ram through a door and kill all the villains.
As for the acting, Jet Li is actually quite fun to watch in his transformation from a hardened bodyguard to a soft man falling in love. Christy Chung is decent though she's mostly relegated to the role of damsel in distress.
My main complaint about the movie was the how the gunshots looked in the film's final shootout. When the bullets hit the wall, they look more like cartoonish sparks than rough bullet impact. However, the great martial arts fight at the end more than made up for it. It's a great action sequence, as it involves Li and the dangerous ex-soldier kicking each other around while trying to get water from a faucet due to a gas leak.
Hong Kong movie was hot in the late '80s, and into the '90s, and this
is one of the movies from that era. The casting is unusual, and so is
the plot. Jet Li, wasn't all that well known at the time, and this was
Miss Chinese International 1992 Christy Chung's first big role ( I
actually liked the miss Chinese International 92 runner up more than
Christy, and she would have been perfect for this role ).
Jet Li's star was on the rise starting around the time this movie was made, and he starts getting noticed in the US around this time also. Simon Yam was briefly wooing Christy shortly after this movie was made. Simon of course had many other options as he was one of the most eligible bachelor in Hong Kong.
The movie's title is almost verbatim fact as Jet was from China, and Christy was from Canada. The unusual mixture of the two culture shows in the mood of these two actors. The plot is also unusual in that an operative from China protects a rich capitalist girl. The movie's background looks more modern than the present day Hong Kong. Hong Kong seems to have slid backwards in culture since its repatriation. This is evident when you see this movie.
So this is an interesting movie, and the producers at Dimension Film did a really good job of capturing the character of Li, and Chung, and incorporating them into the story. Jet Li is like an unstoppable terminator in this movie, and it correctly highlights his skills, and power.
This is an excellent movie, and is worth a watch if you're a Hong Kong movie fan.
John Chang is sent from Bejing to protect the only witness to a murder,
Michelle Yeung. However, as the two get in deeper and deeper into the
fight for survival, they start to get feelings that could spell doom
for the both of them.
Jet Li was some 4 years away from becoming a world star as opposed to his standing in Asia, his pre American efforts are a highly mixed bunch. Here with The Defender we find Li oozing cool and delighting in the art of chop sockery and intricate gun play, but strip away the action and we are left with a pretty empty film. It's a standard fable of bodyguard protects pretty girl (the delicious Christy Chung) and after the initial resentments subside, we find our duo falling in too deep and putting all at risk within their world. However, the action (the point of these pictures as we know) delivers royally, particularly in the last quarter where the ante goes thru the roof and the testo level follows it, it's here where Li and the rest of the grafters earn their respective corn. The finale sequences alone make this picture worth your while, whilst you will rarely see a skateboard and a torch be so intricately and funnily used at the same time!
Instantly forgettable outside of the action set pieces, it still manages to be an entertaining watch for the action junkies amongst us. 5.5/10
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