Bodyguard from Beijing, The | aka The Defender (1994) Review

"The Bodyguard from Beijing" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"The Bodyguard from Beijing" Chinese Theatrical Poster

Director: Corey Yuen
Writer: Gordon Chan, John Chan
Producer: Jet Li
Cast: Jet Li, Christy Chung Lai Tai, Collin Chou Siu Long, Kent Cheng Jak Si, Joey Leung Wing Chung, Ng Wai Gwok, William Chu Wai Lim, Wong Kam Kong, Chun Kwai Bo, Mike Miller, Corey Yuen Kwai
Running Time: 92 min.

By Numskull

Bitches. Who needs ’em? Certainly not Jet Li, who plays a stoic, disciplined bodyguard (betcha didn’t see that comin’) in this plodding action movie from director Corey Yuen (Yuen Kwai). The bitch in question is some silver spoon-fed tightass played by Christy Chung. She’s on somebody’s hit list for some reason or other and her rich boyfriend arranges for her to have round-the-clock protection from two less-than stellar police officers and Jet Li…a REAL man. A MAN’S man. A MAN’S man’s man, even (man!).

The bitch shamelessly embodies negative stereotype characteristics and raises a big stink over Jet Li telling her not to stand in front of windows and other such things. Only after he saves her from getting perforated in a shopping mall (she just HAD to go shopping, you see) does she decide that she is madly in love with him.

Later on, more assassins invade her house and Jet Li takes them out with the lights turned off. The way this scene is shot and edited, it looks like either A) the assassins possess some innate, superhuman regenerative ability (Jet shoots ’em, they drop, then they get up again off-camera), or B) there are actually several waves of assassins who quickly drag away the corpses of their buddies and then take their shots at Jet Li (before getting dropped like panties on prom night themselves). Then, Jet Li must take on the “big” bad guy in a (finally!) hand-to-hand duel in which the kitchen sink becomes a sort of nexus point for the action (Jet filled the room with gas to discourage further gunfire).

Much like Yuen’s Yes, Madam, this movie waits too long to spring the good stuff on you. For the most part, it’s boring and kind of annoying. I was, however, fairly pleased to see the kid who wanted to play with guns in the mall and who ended up nearly costing one of the cops his life get shot in the foot. Take that you stupid little shit.

Anyway, this is a substandard action movie with little to hold your interest aside from the obligatory showdown at the end. Thus concludes another one-paragraph review.

Numskull’s Rating: 4/10

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