Bodyguards and Assassins (2009)

Posted in Reviews by - July 17, 2015
Bodyguards and Assassins (2009)

Although the story of how Sun Yat-sen led a republican uprising which would eventually see the end of dynastic rule in China is quite well known, this highly romanticised and emotive film has been designed as a tribute to those forgotten martyrs who paid the ultimate price. The film may not work in a scholastic sense but it is always entertaining. At times, Teddy Chan makes the 1906 arrival of Dr. Sun in colonised Hong Kong look like a taut heist thriller, and the battle for his protection descends into relentless kung fu carnage with flying daggers and arrows, teams of ninja-like assassins, a giant basketball player (Mengke Bateer) who throws watermelons at people, a blistering Parkour market chase, a beggar who transforms into a one-man army and a powerful Manchu stooge on an imperialist death march. The film is not shy of overblown sentimentality with each peasant death given an overwrought treatment, and it never quite shakes off its revisionist tone with dialogue like, “the future of our country is at stake!” and “will we ever see a People’s Republic?” It’s also far too long.

AKA:  Dark October

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