Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CineAsia Spotlight: Bodyguards & Assassins

Here's another big screen-worthy CineAsia title that almost slipped under my radar! It may be a bit late to plug this now - it appears its SkyCity Cinema run is coming to an end - but if you're an Asian cinema fan reading this, Bodyguards & Assassins is well-worth 2.5 hours of your time. It's a BIG-budget historical epic set in 1905 about a group of ragtag bodyguards assigned to escort the arrival of revolutionary leader Dr. Sun Yat-sen when he visits Hong Kong with plans to overthrow the Qing Dynasty. Think Seven Samurai meets 16 Blocks. The star wattage on this production is off-the-charts, a practical who's-who of HK cinema - Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Leon Lai, Nicolas Tse, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Eric Tsang, Xueqi Wang, Philip Ng - and there's some brutal, hair-raising action in the second half of the film that'll get your heart pumpin' after a solid hour of character/plot build-up (no, it's not a straight-up kung fu movie a la Ip Man). Ok, so it's melodramatic and fist-pumpingly nationalistic (though not unexpectedly), but it's also entertaining, well-acted and emotionally involving, one of the better Chinese historical flicks of late. Here's the trailer:

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