The Defender

  • 1994
  • Movie
  • R
  • Action, Crime, Martial Arts

The pampered mistress of tycoon James Shong (Ng Wai Kwok), Michelle Yeung (Christy Chang) is brave enough to testify in a murder case against hitman Gregory Chiu (Wong Kam Kong), but resents the crimp in her luxurious lifestyle when her wealthy lover hires bodyguard John Chang (Jet Li) to protect her. Holed up in a retreat with her young brother, Michelle...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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The pampered mistress of tycoon James Shong (Ng Wai Kwok), Michelle Yeung (Christy Chang) is brave enough to testify in a murder case against hitman Gregory Chiu (Wong Kam Kong), but resents the crimp in her luxurious lifestyle when her wealthy lover hires bodyguard John Chang (Jet Li) to protect her. Holed up in a retreat with her young brother, Michelle bridles at the preemptive measures of no-nonsense Chang and two police officers, Charlie (Kent Cheng) and Ken (Leung Wing Chung). Complaining to Shong about cabin fever, Michelle gets permission for a shopping spree at the mall. Unfortunately, scores of Chiu's assassins riddle her favorite boutiques with gunfire. During the fracas, Chang enrages master criminal Wong (Ngai Sing) by shooting Wong's brother in the line of duty. Invading Michelle's safehouse, Wong murders Ken and faces Chang in a martial arts showdown. Despite regurgitating cliches from the Dawn of Mankind, martial arts aficionados will get their Hong Kong dollar's worth from this showcase for Jet Li, as the Asian superstar zigzags like a superhero unbound by the laws of gravity. Whereas THE BODYGUARD was a pop variation on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, in which a macho-man puts a virago in her place by saving her life, this is an oriental BODYGUARD, only no one sings off-key and an overly earnest Kevin Costner isn't the star. That's the good news. The bad news is that formulaic conventions abound in the by-the-numbers screenplay, including crimeworld stereotypes, comical cop sidekicks and a rote romance. Fortunately, Li exudes enough magnetism to make the sexual banter with his fair damsel credible, and enough athletic prowess to simultaneously power this and several other vehicles.

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  • Released: 1994
  • Rating: R
  • Review: The pampered mistress of tycoon James Shong (Ng Wai Kwok), Michelle Yeung (Christy Chang) is brave enough to testify in a murder case against hitman Gregory Chiu (Wong Kam Kong), but resents the crimp in her luxurious lifestyle when her wealthy lover hires… (more)

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