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Bodyguards and Assassins (2009)
"Shi yue wei cheng" (original title)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 5,553 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 47 critic

In 1905, revolutionist Sun Yat-Sen visits Hong Kong to discuss plans with Tongmenghui members to overthrow the Qing dynasty. But when they find out that assassins have been sent to kill him, they assemble a group of protectors to prevent any attacks.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Prof. Chen Xiao-Bai
Jun Hu ...
Bo-Chieh Wang ...
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Yuet-yu
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Mengke Bateer ...
Wang Fu-Ming (Stinky Tofu)
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Prince Lau Luk-Yak
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Detective Smith
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Yan Xiao-Guo's henchman #1
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General Fang Tian
Jacky Cheung ...
Prof. Yang Quyun
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Storyline

In 1905, revolutionist Sun Yat-Sen visits Hong Kong to discuss plans with Tongmenghui members to overthrow the Qing dynasty. But when they find out that assassins have been sent to kill him, they assemble a group of protectors to prevent any attacks.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

To save a nations future, they must protect one man from its past.

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

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Details

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Release Date:

18 December 2009 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Bodyguards and Assassins  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Connections

Remake of Chi dan hao han (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Crowd-pleasing action spectacular
16 May 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Now this is more like it! BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS is an expertly-crafted and detailed martial arts odyssey that comes close to the high quality of the two IP MAN films. It's carefully made, intelligent and intriguing, and it tells a little-known story (outside of Asia, at least) in such a way that is both educational and entertaining. A difficult mix, to be sure, but one that really works here.

I'll make no bones about it: this movie is slow paced and long, but it really rewards the viewer who allows himself to fully immerse in the cinematic world. The first half or so is the set-up, which is lengthy and detailed, with lots of supporting characters; the last hour really ups the ante in terms of on-screen action, running together a series of martial arts battles that just get better and better as we near the end.

And the fight scenes are truly spectacular, sure to delight any fan of the genre. They're of the scenery-smashing, bone-breaking, wirework-assisted variety, with Donnie Yen and his companions battling a series of exceptional villains to the death in scenes that are exciting as they are technically proficient. Despite Yen's presence, this is far from a star vehicle; the famed actor is content to take a back seat for the most part and allows his peers to shine, which they do. Tony Leung is very good in a non-action role, but the real surprise is Nicholas Tse, playing against type and exceptionally good with it. Leon Lai, Cung Le and Bingbing Fan all contribute effective turns too.

I know that Chinese films are often criticised for being too melodramatic, and this is no exception to that rule; nevertheless, the film works, tugging at the heartstrings as well as getting the adrenaline flowing. It really is one of those films that offers it all, from action and excitement to detailed characters and pathos, and I look forward to revisiting it in the future.


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