1905, City of Victoria (British Colony of Hong Kong)
the distance of thirteen blocks, the one man who holds a nation's
fate must survive relentless attempts on his life with only
five bodyguards to protect him. Against hundreds of assassins,
these men must put their courage to the test in order to protect
the hopes of millions in this perilous night even if it means
fighting to the death.
Bodyguards and Assassins recollect the chain
of events that occurred during Dr Sun's visit to Hong Kong.
His supporters round up a group of motley crew from all walks
of life to protect him from the Qing Dynasty court's deadly
assassins. First half of the movie was spent on establishing
the background story for these various personals that answered
the call to protect the Chinese revolutionary leader. It presented
how most of these personals got involved due to the various
emotion entanglements and it wasn't because they were passionate
about Dr Sun's ideas.
The various subplots for these numerous characters
provided interesting dilemmas among characters and they made
some intriguing points to consider. Such as Li Yue-tang, the
rich merchant who supports the revolutionary group with his
money but vehemently against his son's involvement with the
rebellion against the Qing court. The conflicts here were
intriguing because the various characters motivation were
well presented and viewers could identify their respective
reasoning, ideal and dilemma.
for the 'good' guys and 'bad' guys in Bodyguards and Assassins.
The manipulators from both sides are not exactly good nor
bad but flawed with their strong conviction to their own cause
that they are willing to sacrifice lives to achieve it. Kudos
to the storytellers for handling the antagonist with such
care and layers.
To add on to the drama, there are also bittersweet
moments on the eve of the bloody escort. While some muse about
the choice of their actions, others find happiness in marriage
and discovery of a daughter. Although the segments might be
short, some managed to tug the heartstrings and make the viewers
feel for the characters as they prepares for a deadly battle.
All these escalated to an explosive last half when the man
of the hour finally arrived in Hong Kong. The bodyguards and
the assassins faced off in a bloody cloak and dagger battle
on the street of old Hong Kong. The tension here is intensified
due to the well established characters in the first half,
engaging the viewers to feel for the fate of these bodyguards.
This movie provides many points to contempate
as we follow the lives of these motley crew that made up of
various commoners. Although this film only presented the causes
and effects of one politician's visit, it makes one wonder
if it was worth the sacrifice. One might argue that it help
to build the foundation of the modern China but looking at
the number of lives lost due to an revolutionary leader's
idea to overturn a decaying old system just felt like a horrific
massacre which don't adds up. How does one answer to the love
ones and family members of those who sacrificed their lives?
As the wailing and tears fade away to the end of the movie,
it just leave a bitter aftertaste to remind us the true cost
of a revolution.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Behind the Scenes - One thing to note, although these
extra features are filled with plenty interesting behind the
scenes information, certain moments from the first segment
were repeated in the other three segments.
& Crew Interview - Development on each Character
The Cast and Crew took the time to go through the list of
characters that appeared in this movie and gave a presentation
of what they are and shared certain insights of these characters
that viewers might not have gathered though the film itself.
Design - This segment will open the viewers' eyes
to much effort was put in to recreate the old Hong Kong and
impressively big the production set was. It even include an
appearance by Danny Boyle (director of Slumdog Millionaire)
and he was impressed by it.
the Characters (Costume Design) - This segment takes
a look at the various planning and design for the numerous
characters in this movie. They recounts makeups and the costumes
are used to bring the essence of those characters out.
Choreography - Bodyguards and Assassins is filled
with exciting fight sequences and this segment provides a
peek on how some of the fights were choreographed.
Bodyguards and Assassins is filled with rich production
value and this dvd offers a fine presentation of the old Hong
Kong streets and costume that had been replicated for this
movie. There are also moments that it used the audio aspect
to showcase the carnage that happening on screen.
by Richard Lim Jr
Posted on 24 February 2010