30 user 13 critic

The Bodyguard from Beijing (1994)

Zhong Nan Hai bao biao (original title)
A corrupt businessman commits a murder and the only witness is the girlfriend of another businessman with close connections to the Chinese government, so a bodyguard from Beijing is ... See full summary »


Corey Yuen


Gordon Chan (screenplay), Kin Chung Chan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Jet Li ... Allan Hui Ching Yeung / John Chang
Christy Chung ... Michelle Yeung
Kent Cheng ... Charlie Leung Kam-Po
Collin Chou ... Wong (as Sing Ngai)
Wing-Chung Leung ... Ken
Wai-Kwok Ng Wai-Kwok Ng ... James Shong Sai-cheung
Wai-Lim Chu Wai-Lim Chu ... Billy Yeung (as William Chu)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Adam Chung-Tai Chan ... Assassin (as Chung-Tai Chan)
Stone Chan ... Assassin (as Sek Chan)
Chun Hung Cheung Chun Hung Cheung ... Bodyguard in Opening Scene
Hin-Cheung Choi ... Guard at Mortuary
Kwai-Bo Chun ... Guard at Mortuary
Ju Fang ... House Maid
Sam Kai-Sen Huang ... Wong's Brother
Hak-Shing Keung Hak-Shing Keung ... Assassin in Shopping Center


A corrupt businessman commits a murder and the only witness is the girlfriend of another businessman with close connections to the Chinese government, so a bodyguard from Beijing is dispatched to help two Hong Kong cops protect the witness. Complications arise when the bodyguard and the witness must confront their deep feelings for one another. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Only One Man Stands Between The Assassin And His Target!


Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Can be considered a loose Hong Kong remake of The Bodyguard (1992) starring Kevin Costner, as the two films share many similarities concerning some scenes and the development of the relationship between the two main characters, though key points of the plot in each film are different. See more »


Just about everything during the end kitchen fight scene has a continuity error, examples, the sink switches many positions, the bodies around the sink appear and disappear, covering mouth with sleeve, then hand when camera angle switches, and also position of the two as they are fighting throughout the room. See more »


Michelle Yeung: You made me cry. It won't happen again!
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Alternate Versions

In the United States, the film is renamed "The Defender," with an English dub, a new score and some scenes shortened or cut. The dialogue is also slightly simplified to the original with some names altered. Some scenes of violence are cut for reasons unknown, as well as a sub-plot being eliminated from the story entirely. Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment on VHS and non-anamorphic widescreen DVD. The film is re-released by Dragon Dynasty in the Dragon Dynasty Five Movie Collection, available in both Cantonese and English tracks, but has one scene eliminated. See more »

User Reviews

The name is Chang, John Chang.
29 October 2008 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Hong Kong


Cantonese | Mandarin | English

Release Date:

28 July 1994 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bodyguard from Beijing See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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