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Lloyd Lee Barnett
'A New Beginning' focuses around the story of Leung, the bodyguard of a Chinese Triad boss, Wong, to whom his loyalty is unrivaled. Living in Hong Kong, Wong requests that his bodyguard travel to the UK to protect a young British woman, whose true identity is known only by Wong himself. Even his own errant son, Yuen, is kept in the dark, which leads to a betrayal that threatens to destroy the family and all that his father has worked hard to protect. Written by
Director Chee Keong Cheung's strengths and weaknesses as a filmmaker are as evident in Bodyguard: A New Beginning (2008) as they were in his debut Underground (2007). Both are ambitious, ensemble films blending melodrama and martial arts action, as lavishly filmed as their budgets allowed. Cheung clearly has the best eye of all the directors of independent British action films but has yet to master his craft. While the characterisation and plotting are more coherent than in Underground a lack of focus is still apparent. Vincent Sze is ostensibly the lead, but he's largely silent and fails to make much of an impression. He's not presented as the next Jet Li as one expects. Instead it is experienced co-star Richard Ng who effortlessly emerges as the real star. Shot partly in Hong Kong and featuring Hollywood villain Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Bodyguard is a distinctive if not wholly successful film that's well worth seeking out.
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