Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore

  Publicity Stills of
"Bodyguards And Assassins"
(Courtesy of GV)

Director: Teddy Chen
Cast: Donnie Yen, Leon Lai, Wang Xueqi, Nicholas Tse, Tong Leung Ka-fai, Hu Jun, Simon Yam, Eric Tsang, Li Yuchun, Fan Bing-bing, Zhou Yun, Wang Po-chieh, Mengke Bateer, Michelle Reis, Xing Yu, Zhang Hanyu, Jacky Cheung
2 hrs 18 mins
Released By: Scorpio East Pictures, MediaCorp Raintree Pictures and Golden Village Pictures
Rating: PG (Some Violence)
Official Website: http://www.bodyguardsandassassins.com

Opening Day: 17 December 2009


1905, City of Victoria (British Colony of Hong Kong) In 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…

Movie Review:

Things can never really go wrong when you have filmmaker Peter Chan on board as a producer. The veteran of Hong Kong cinema (the award winning director helmed the successful Comrades, Almost a Love Story, Perhaps Love and The Warlords) knows what works for the market, and what doesn’t. And this is not to imply that he is all commercialism and no substance. The ability to achieve a nice balance of fluff and stuff is one main reason Chan is one successful filmmaker in Asia. This time round, he ropes in director Teddy Chan (Wait 'Til You're Older, The Accidental Spy), with one main objective: To create one spectacular affair to wow viewers all around Asia.

So it is with this, we get the self touted 'action packed blockbuster of the year', and what a star studded affair it is.

Donnie Yen – an obvious choice because of his Ip Man fame. Wang Xueqi – an experienced Mainland Chinese actor who anchors the film. Tony Leung Ka Fai – he provides the affirmative weight to the cast chemistry. Nicholas Tse – another opportunity to hone his acting skills. Hu Jun – another Mainland actor who is increasingly popular with the masses, Eric Tseng – a familiar Hong Kong face always helps. Li Yuchun – a very popular singer in Mainland China would definitely boost the market. Fan Bing Bing – an obligatory pretty face from Mainland China to soften the mood. Mengke Bateer – the professional basketball player from Inner Mongolia would help to pull in some fans too.

The list doesn’t stop here. We’ve also got other notable names like Leon Lai, Simon Yam, Jacky Cheung, Michelle Reis and Zhang Hanyu (in cameo roles which are essentially important to the story) in the mix. Indeed, listing all these actors down almost seems like an exhausting task – imagine what the casting director went through to pin down the cast?

The pro Chinese story works for the production too: Revolutionary leader Sun Yat Sen is arriving in Hong Kong, and the politically dangerous trip requires a group of patriotic bodyguards who will go all out to protect the man. And it is with this, the 138 minute movie is played out nicely like an action adventure.

The impressive production values will awe you – Huge sets, magnificent cinematography, rhythmic editing, engaging action choreography, decent computer effects and emotionally charged music score are all part of the equation to this recommended movie. Sure, the storyline isn’t really considered innovative, but the pompousness of a production like this doesn’t need anything more.

Action fans would be pleased to know that there are some memorable sequences showcasing Yen’s agile moves, all adrenaline charged. Lai gets to be part of the fun too, but the Heavenly King’s character design is just too awkwardly distracting to hold ground. Celebrity Li’s foray is decent, as she turns in an affecting performance as a revolutionary’s daughter who gets involved in the turmoil. Other actors like Tse, Leung and Hu may have to resort to makeup antics like scars and blood to capture the audience’s attention, but being capable and respectable actors already, this doesn’t come off as exploitative.

If there’s one name to look out for during the award season, it has to be 63 year old Wang’s winning performance as a merchant. Note to budding artistes: This is called acting. Every subtle facial expression, eye movement or hand gesture is indicative of the experienced actor’s skill to bring out the intricate personality of the character. Though not a key scene of the movie, watch out for the sequence where the wealthy merchant agrees to propose on behalf of Tse’s rickshaw puller character. Through some simple exchange of words and actions, this scene stands out as the most poignantly moving portion of the movie.

Movie Rating:

(An impressive ensemble piece with remarkable production values)

Review by John Li


. Ip Man (2008)

. Three Kingdoms (2008)

. The Warlords (2007)

. Dragon Tiger Gate (2006)

. A Battle of Wits (2006)




DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.