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中南海保鑣 (1994)
The Bodyguard from Beijing

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 10/30/2010

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 03/05/2010

"The Bodyguard" (1992) lands in Hong Kong with all its excess baggage in tow; however, unlike its source material when "The Bodyguard from Beijing" is on -- it's on (thanks, almost exclusively to director Corey Yuen Kwai) -- unfortunately, it's only on about half of the time. Too much of the film's 92 minutes are screwed to the floor by uninspired characters and an utter lack of chemistry between leads Jet Li and Christy Chung. Audiences with a high threshold for long passages of wooden dialogue might just find "The Bodyguard from Beijing" an otherwise refined piece of action cinema.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 07/05/2005

In The Bodyguard from Beijing, Jet Li plays Hui Ching-yeung, a mainland Chinese
bodyguard who is hired to protect Michelle Yeung (Christy Chung), the
girlfriend of a wealthy Hong Kong man after she witnesses a murder. Because the
main suspect is a powerful businessman, she is in constant danger from would be
assassins bent on preventing her from testifying. Ching-yeung's ultra-strict
rules infuriate Michelle and she is at constant battle with him. After a
shopping trip to the local mall results in a shootout with hitman, Michelle
realizes the trouble she may be in and comes to appreciate Ching-yeung's
protection. The first attempt having failed, the suspected businessman hires a
fanatic ex-soldier (Ngai Sing) whose brother was killed by Ching-yeung at the
mall. Having made the mission a personal vendetta, he makes a final assault on
the safehouse, determined to kill both Michelle and Ching-yeung.

Having been made just a year after the Kevin Costner/Whitney Houston The
Bodyguard, this film uses almost the same exact premise of the protectee
falling for the protector and vice-versa. This movie feels thrown together and
sloppy, as though the director was trying to get it out into the theaters as
fast as possible to capitalize on the success of the American version. The only
redeeming scene is the final fight between Jet Li and Ngai Sing, with the rest
of the movie having almost no action, cheesy dialouge and predictable
situations. Jet Li can, and has done better.


Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: Arshadnm6
Date: 04/08/2005
Summary: Entertaining fluff with a few good action scenes!!

Jet Li is a mainland bodyguard assigned to protect Christy Chung (a wealthy businessman’s girlfriend), who witnessed a murder and has Ngai Sing and his henchmen persistently pursuing her. Kent Cheng is a mild-manner policeman who is also assigned to guard her, but doesn’t seem to be as paranoid as Jet Li. These circumstances set-up a conflict between Christy Chung and Jet Li in regards to running her life and both have to adapt (more in Jet Li’s cases, where he is a hard-nut and has strict principles to his life and job) as in Kevin Costner’s ‘The Bodyguard’.

The final showdown between Jet Li and Ngai Sing is about the only martial arts scene in the whole movie and closely resembles some of the concepts used in the final fight for Jet Li’s ‘Black Mask’ (utilising a gas-filled room etc.). This movie was possibly aiming to display Jet Li’s solid acting ability as opposed to his martial arts prowess (this is a terrible waste of talent considering the involvement of renowned action choreographers Corey Yuen Kwai and Yuen Tak not to mention Jet Li). The characters do put some good acting performances and emotional feelings into the movie (except for Chirsty Chung who is on a whole different page from the actors and just there to be a pretty face to look at!!!). Also, Jet Li uses a gun to awful effect in a shopping mall shoot-out, where about 20 – 30 triad members rush out, determined to assassinate Chirsty Chung, and probably was never taught how to use a firearm for the role (as he swings it about more like a rope or staff or some sort of hand-to-hand weapon in various ridiculous postures).

The budget for this movie is reasonable but never seems to impress and at times looks like a B-movie possibly due to some bad decisions regarding clustered and uninspired environments and surroundings (including a lack of extras). The cast list is also quite small deliberately to concentrate on the main actors (not including Ngai Sing who comes in minor roles throughout the movie, mostly just the two scenes, one in which he finds out his brother was killed in the shoot-out in the mall, and the second where the last fight scene of the movie occurs). Sometimes, the movie runs out of energy due to a lack of interest and Chirsty Chung is not authentic enough for a damsel in distress. Furthermore, Jet Li always tries to put a gap between him and the rest of the actors which is not very helpful.

Overall, the movie’s length is reasonable and the acting is bad and has very little and short action scenes. Furthermore, there are no plot twists, some interspersed comedy to keep things light-hearted. This movie has considerable flaws and tries to be a tear-jerker but fails miserably and the one good thing about this film is that it capitalises on Jet Li’s emotionless acting ability. I recommend if you are really thinking about watching a serious modern day action movie, you can either opt for Jet Li’s Hitman or Black Mask.

Overall Rating: 5.8/10

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/18/2003

A pop star (Chung) is targeted for assassination after she agrees to be a witness in a murder case. The Hong Kong police (led by Cheng) don't seem to be up to the task, so her boyfriend (or is it her dad? The subs are badly translated in parts) hires a presidential guard from the Mainland (Li) to be her bodyguard. Even though the two hate each other at first, eventually they fall in love -- but the romance is threatened when the bodyguard himself becomes a target. If this sounds familiar, it should. The Bodyguard from Beijing is a HK remake/re-tooling/ripoff (however you want to view it) of the popular (but horrid) US movie The Bodyguard, with Chung taking Whitney Houston's role and Li filling in for Kevin Costner.

I don't usually like romantic sub-plots in action movies, mostly because the relationships seem so false that they become unbelievable. Bodyguard falls into this trap -- there's really no chemistry between Li and Chung and no real development of the relationship. Chung literally falls in love with Li in a matter of minutes and it just seems fake. Throw in a bunch of other tired cliches (the inept sidekick, an annoying/cute kid) and Bodyguard could have been a huge stinker.

What saves the movie are the action sequences. Corey Yuen is one damn good action director. Li is in fine form here, displaying his trademark coolness under fire. While most of the action is of the gun-fu type, there is a great martial arts sequence at the end that should satisfy any kung-fu fan. If you turn your brain off, you'll have a pretty good time watching The Bodyguard from Beijing. And thankfully, unlike the US original, there's no horrid Whitney Houston ballads to put up with.

Reviewed by: MinayUK
Date: 04/05/2002
Summary: Admirable effort from Jet with hair

For anyone living in the UK who subscribes to sky/cable/digital, you may have noticed that Sky Moviemax is doing a run of Jet Li Movies. Some of these are quite good, like Legend of Fong Sai Yuk and Fist of Legend, but others, notably My Father the Hero, suffers from poor dubbing and an English reworked title. So, The Body Guard From Beijing was given a new name, The Defender, and a new dub with optional crap mid-90s soundtrack. Anyone who knows me knows that I have always prefered to watch Cantonese subtitled, but in this case the plot is 'oh so Kevin Costner and Whitney Housten' that it hardly matters.
On the whole, the movie was ok. There werent really enough fights but when the action did kick in, Jet looked pretty cool, while the bad guy, seemed quite 'bad' as well. For me though the highlight of this movie was Christy Chung, who is hot. It was funny watching Jet doing his usual 'Im not gay, just a hard bastard' act, in order to portray to us, his undying duty to being a Bodygaurd from mainland China where men are strong and dont like girls.
By the way if anyone watches this movie can you tell me if you really wanted that irritating kid to get killed? I wasnt sure who he was anyway, Christy's little brother or bastard son after some rich guy managed to fuck her a few years back. Im not sure if the Cantonese essense was lost by the US dub, but one of the funniest moments was watching Christy moan to Jet about 'how she couldnt help being so beautiful and liking nice things'! Yes, for all feminists watching I believe Miss Chung makes no excuses as to being a money-grabbing rich chick, who knows how to flash a bit of skirt.

Overall then a nice time-pass Jet movie, with very lush Christy as eye candy. Bit on the short side, but if you really want good Jet you should already know that he's only ever really been good in the period piece movies (Fist of Legend included). As for his American efforts....lets not go there

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 08/04/2000
Summary: Pretty good

WEll a review of a JET LI movie with less than 8 reviews, so here i go.......

WEll not as good as his other movies i must say!! Action is good but not great and neither is the plot!! It did remind me of "The Bodyguard" in some ways, but i cna't remember what exactly!!

STILL good to watch but not as good as his other movies!!


Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: hokazak
Date: 12/09/1999

My favorite of Jet Li's recent modern-day actioners (along with Fist of Legend), this film has fiercer, more direct fight scenes, under the helm of director Corey Yuen Kwai, than some of Li's other HK films. Ngai Sing is a great villain, and the action sequences are fast moving but also tight, controlled and inventive. Thoroughly enjoyable, all around.

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

An actual plot accompanies this film, though if you saw "The Bodyguard" with Kevin Costner, you already know the plot for the most part. The acting is pretty good in this one, and the last 30 minutes of the film has some standout fight sequences. Jet Li also gets to shoot about 50 people in this film (of course, with no help from anyone).


[Reviewed by Dale Whitehouse]

Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

The Bodyguard, HK style. Spoiled rich girl Michelle Yeung(Christy Cheung) is a witness for a gangland murder, so her dad hires an elite bodyguard from the Beijing government (Jet Li). At first she hates her guard's impositions, but after he mows down dozens of hostile gunmen in a mall, she changes her stripes. The first ten breathless minutes dip into a kind of B-minus movie magic I haven't seen since the late '50s. Kent Cheng offers still more comic relief as an HK police sergeant. Great gunfights, snappy fu -- and Jet Li has hair!


[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 7