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The Bodyguard

Canadian Premiere
  • China
  • 2016
  • 92 mins
  • DCP
  • Mandarin
  • English (subtitles)

The Bodyguard from Festival Fantasia on Vimeo.

When his master dies, Wu-Lin takes his place as the latest leader of the legendary Iron Kick clan. He decides to leave his peaceful village and go look for his friend and former student Jiang Li in the big city. Without money or family, Wu-Lin is practically homeless when, one morning, he comes to the rescue of a rich businessman who rewards him by offering him the position of personal bodyguard to his daughter, Faye. Not fond of the idea, the latter keeps giving our hero a hard time. Unfortunately for her, Wu-Lin takes his job very seriously. Despite all precautions taken, Faye is kidnapped by a criminal group led by Jiang-Li. Wu-Lin will have to overcome his loyalty towards his old friend if he’s to stand a chance of rescuing the young woman.

Yue Song has a lot riding on THE BODYGUARD. Director, writer, lead actor and stunt man — these are only a few of the positions he fills in this cinematic adrenaline overload. While he turned a few heads with THE KING OF THE STREETS, he really pushes the envelope with this one. His work recalls the golden years of martial arts cinema, personified by legends like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. In the spirit of his predecessors, Song puts aside digital effects and opts for authentic fight sequences flawlessly executed by professionals at the top of their game. Song lets his talent speak for itself during several impressively spectacular fights that benefit greatly from the film’s supporting cast, including Xing Yu (THE WRATH OF VAJRA). Together, they form an explosive duo that is sure to delight audiences. The energy, frenzied fighting and choreographic creativity harkens back to ONG BAK and THE RAID, two pictures that are now recognized as genre classics. It takes a lot of confidence to proclaim to be the next Bruce Lee. It may be a bit early to make such a bold statement, but Yue Song certainly has both the charisma and the talent to someday earn the title.

— Éric S. Boisvert