The Bodyguard from Beijing

The Bodyguard from Beijing

The Bodyguard from Beijing film poster
Traditional 中南海保鑣
Simplified 中南海保镖
Mandarin Zhōngnánhǎi Bǎobiāo
Cantonese Zung1-naam4-hoi2 Bou2-biu1
Directed by Corey Yuen
Produced by Jet Li
Written by Chan Kin-chung
Gordon Chan
Starring Jet Li
Christy Chung
Sing Ngai
Kent Cheng
Music by William Hu
Cinematography Tom Lau
Edited by Angie Lam
Eastern Productions
Golden Harvest Company
Distributed by Golden Harvest
Release dates
  • 28 July 1994 (1994-07-28)
Running time
93 minutes
88 minutes (US)
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese

The Bodyguard from Beijing (simplified Chinese: 中南海保镖; traditional Chinese: 中南海保鑣 released in the United States as The Defender) is a 1994 Hong Kong action film directed by Corey Yuen, and produced by and starring Jet Li. The film was released in the Hong Kong on 28 July 1994.[1]


Allan is one of the most promising members of an elite corp of international bodyguards based in China. He is known for using highly unorthodox and anti-trust building methods, from helping a VIP escape assassination in a pool, to forcing a VIP to ride on a car with explosives and detonated near him, but his decisions are right. He is hired by James, a wealthy Hong Kong businessman, to protect his girlfriend Michelle Leung, who is the only surviving witness to a mob murder. However, Michelle and Allan clash with one another almost immediately because she feels like she is under house arrest, while Allan is equally fed up because he is refused to join the Chinese Premier's bodyguard detail in China due to his duties to watch over Michelle.

Michelle eventually storms out of the house and goes to the shopping mall. Unknown to Michelle, the mall is crawling with mob assassins under disguise. A massive shoot-out ensues when the assassins attempt to kill her, but Allan shows up and protects her while taking out the assassins one by one. One of the assassins who posed as a police officer and killed by Allan during the shoot-out is the younger brother of Killer Wong, a former Chinese soldier who fought together with his brother. Wong seizes his brother's dead body from the police morgue and burns his brother's body later, and swearing vengeance on Allan.

In the meantime, Michelle is grateful towards Allan for saving her and develops feelings for him. The two grow closer as they gain a better understanding towards one another. Though Michelle is straightforward with her feelings for him, before Allan rejects her pursues because of his duties as her bodyguard.

Things come to a climax when Wong and a group of assassins storm the penthouse and start a gunfight. Ken was killed when he was shot by Wong himself. Allan eventually takes out all the other assailants until only Wong is left and engages Michelle's younger brother was shot in a foot when Wong spots his shoes lighting. Michelle breaks cover to hold up a stumbling Allan while James enters the house just as Wong recovers his gun. Wong points his gun at Michelle and asks the two men who is willing to take her place. James attempts to dissuade Wong from shooting by offering to pay Wong, but Wong refuses. Allan shields Michelle with his body and takes two shots but he manages to pull out the bayonet from his chest and throw it towards Wong's neck, killing him. The scene ends with Michelle holding the convulsing Allan and crying inconsolably whilst James watches on.

Before the film ends, James drives Michelle to the border between Hong Kong and mainland China as she tries to see Allan a final time before he heads back to China but the guards at the checkpoint deny them entry into the mainland immediately. However, Allan leaves Michelle with the box that held the watch she had given to him as a present and he had tried to refuse. However, when she opens it, the box contains his own watch that he was originally wearing, while "Fat Po" receives Allan's payment money to fund his son's school tuition. Michelle cries out Allan's name just as his car drives away from the border back into the mainland.


[2] [3]


Shooting took place in Hong Kong.[4]


The film was banned in China after production was finished. However, Jet Li spoke against the censorship of his films.[5] DVD was released in Region 1 in the United States on August 15, 2000, and Region 2 in the United Kingdom on 29 April 2002, it was distributed by Dimension Home Video.[6]


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 71% of seven surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 5.5/10.[7] Joey O'Byan of The Austin Chronicle rated it 2.5/5 stars and called it "lively, unpretentious fun".[8] Aaron Beierle of DVD Talk rated it 2/5 stars and wrote, "An ok movie; sort of entertaining at times, but not great."[6]


See also

External links

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