Plot: 1906, 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.
Though all events in the movie are fictitious, the film centres around the real-life figure of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who would go on to overthrow the Qing Dynasty in 1911 and found the first modern republic in China. The fictitious plot imagines a brief visit by Dr Sun to Hong Kong in 1905 to meet with fellow revolutionaries.
Budget: $23 million
Bodyguards has been a massive hit in China since its release on December 18 passing the $40 million mark as of January 3. It has also performed well in Hong Kong and Taiwan, earning roughly $2 million in each territory.
The movie was shot within a scale replica of Hong Kong’s Central District circa 1906 which was built outside Shanghai.
A 10-minute action showstopper between Donnie Yen and Cung Le that begins with free-running and ends with an intense round of MMA-style fighting ended up being a re-shoot where Yen, who worked without additional pay, took charge of the choreography and called back Cung Le after both actors agreed that the original sequence wasn’t good enough. For a week, the two feverishly worked with a team of 17 stuntmen to accomplish what originally took much longer to set up.
Bodyguards and Assassins is the first project from Cinema Popular, a joint venture by Hong Kong based director Peter Chan Ho-sun (Warlords) and Beijing producer/director Huang Jianxin (The Founding of a Republic) to produce films targeted at the mainland Chinese market.
Chinese title 十月围城 (Shi yue wei cheng) literally means 'October Besieged City'.
«The fact that it’s a more of an emotional drama than an action film may disappoint a foreign audience expecting Donnie to single-handedly wipe out the bad guys, but Bodyguards and Assassins is still well-calculated and solid commercial entertainment that will pack seats and earn box office in China and Hong Kong. »
«BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS boasts lavish production values, bringing a much-needed authenticity to the proceedings that director Chen effectively capitalizes on to build atmosphere, tension and an intricate web of characters.»
«Unfortunately, there is one major flaw: Chan’s attempt to strike a balance between action and drama doesn’t flourish, making the film a merely adequate choice of entertainment for the holiday season.»
«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.»
«A solid emotional foundation anchors action-drama "Bodyguards and Assassins," a satisfying mix of politics, personal sacrifice and death-or-glory combat centered on an imagined assassination attempt on Chinese revolutionary hero Sun Yat-sen in 1906 Hong Kong. Delivering a final hour of good but not great mayhem as a mixed bag of fictional patriots shield Sun from scores of Imperial Army killers, the star-studded ensembler from helmer Teddy Chen reps a strong first effort for ambitious shingle Cinema Popular.»
«"Bodyguards And Assassins" will go down as one very expensive movie that you have to respect, despite a somewhat peculiar and uneven aftertaste. It's an uncomfortable marriage between drama and action but nevertheless most will find this engrossing and highly entertaining.»
Share your thoughts and opinions
Like this film? Planning to watch it or have done already? Want to share your feedback or just give a thumbs up? Found links to intresting reviews, posters or trailers? Your participation is appreciated.