3 May 2016 | darrenmurray84
Sammo's still got it
My Beloved Bodyguard is the first film Sammo Hung has directed in almost 20 years. Although not one of Hung's classics, this is still streets ahead of what the critical reviews have said.
Originally My Beloved Bodyguard was to star both Hung and Jackie Chan, in the Andy Lau role. The film has obviously went through some rewrites since then, as I can't see Chan playing the type of role that Lau plays here.
The plot of the film steals somewhat from movies like " Man on Fire" and the "Man from Nowhere", with Hung as a retired Civil Servant protecting a young girl. In this case it is local triads, who Lau, the child's father, owes money too.
Some reviews have complained about the lack of action in the movie. Must having been watching something else, as there are a number of good action/fight scenes in the movie. There's an excellent chase sequence with Lau and a number of gangsters, that is only let down by being a bit short, then a fight between Sammo and some thugs who come to his house. Then there is the extended finale, with Hung taking on a group of gangsters. Unlike the comedic fights Hung used to take part in, this is just brutal, with multiple limbs being broken.
The film has been harmed somewhat by its advertising campaign which shows the actors, some of which are legends like Yuen Biao & Yuen Wah, that appear in the movie in action poses. Unfortunately most of the actors on the posters only appear in the film in limited cameos, which is a shame. This isn't a fault of the film, as i'm sure Sammo had nothing to do with the advertising.
On the performance side, Sammo is his usual self. His fans won't be disappointed. Lau is also good, in the only other lead role of the film. Only Lau could turn a somewhat waste of space, into a likable character. Lau also acts as the films producer.
On the directing side, Sammo shows his skill behind the camera, and although his action scenes are more edited that in the past, his choreography still shines through. Only drawback is his overuse of a blurry slow-mo effect which can be somewhat distracting.
If you are a fan of Hong Kong cinema and/or Sammo Hung, I would definitely recommend "My Beloved Bodyguard".