Created on Tuesday, 22 December 2009 13:20
Written by Elaine
Bodyguards And Assassins, directed by Teddy Chan, is an historical epic blockbuster with a big budget of USD23 million - they actually built a full-scale replica of a town from the period - and stocks a star-studded cast including Nicholas Tse, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Eric Tsang, Simon Yam, Leon Lai, Jacky Cheung, Fan Bing-bing, Zhou Yun, Hu Jun, Wang Po-chieh and professional basketball player from Inner Mongolia, Mengke Bateer, among others.
Set against the backdrop of Hong Kong under the British rule on 15 October 1905, Bodyguards And Assassins is a fictional account of an assassination plot of revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen, who was also known as the Father of Modern China. Led by Donnie Yen, who often played second fiddle to the two J's - Jackie Chan and Jet Li, the actor of 26 years finally gets his big break after his last film, the famed Ip Man. Here, the veteran martial arts actor plays the role of an avid gambler, who for some reason can fight really well. However, Donnie fans might be slightly disappointed as the film has a more melodrama feel than an action flick to it.
In a mere hour and over the distance of 13 blocks, the assassination plot is played out with each Manchu baddie assassin meeting headfirst with a self-sacrificing bodyguard who is then battered to death heroically as the clock ticks away in the room where Sun Yat Sen discusses his revolutionary plan with allies from all over China. This crucial meeting supposedly sparked off the six consecutive revolutions that brought the downfall of the Qing dynasty.
While FreshGrads went in expecting a brutal, bloody showdown, the film surprised us with thoughtful emotions, especially an impressive performance by experienced Mainland actor Wang Po-chieh. A hollywood version of a Chinese language film in terms of scale and budget, Bodyguards And Assassins deserves the blockbuster treatment. That's popcorn and drinks in the theatre over a DVD appreciation of the film.
Related links: Bodyguards And Assassins official site