[Movie Review] - The Bodyguard (特工爷爷)

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Bodyguard (特工爷爷) Movie Poster - Sammo Hung

It's Sammo Hung. 洪金宝! Any movie with him in it is surely a must-watch for action fans!

The Bodyguard (特工爷爷) Movie Stills
"Ah Gong this is that Llaollao yogurt we all pay $6.95 for lor. Nice????"

Movie Title - The Bodyguard (特工爷爷)

Sammo Hung Movie Icon (You think it's action but actually it's more of a melodrama)

Synopsis: Retired army personnel Lao Ding (Sammo Hung) was someone who aced his martial arts when he was still serving. After his retirement, he lived a simple life.

One time, while taking his granddaughter out to a park to play, he lost his granddaughter, causing him to be berated by his own family. His own daughter severed ties with him, and because of this incident, he constantly lived in the shadow of self-blame, which also caused him to lose his memory gradually.

A little girl in his neighbourhood, Xiao Chun Hua (Jacqueline Chan), appeared in his life while he was living alone in the city. Jolting memories of his own granddaughter, the two shared happy moments together, until her dad had a run-in with the mafia and caused Xiao Chun Hua to be abducted.

Review: Although this movie is starred and directed by Sammo Hung, undoubtedly one of the top action director in HK, 
The Bodyguard is not an action movie, and you shouldn't go into the theatres expecting blood, sweat and "我要打十个“ action sequences every few minutes. You might be sorely disappointed by the relatively lack of action scenes of this film.

The Bodyguard is a drama.

A drama about a very sad, fat and lonely old man suffering from dementia... who still knows how to fight.

The Bodyguard (特工爷爷) Movie Stills

Unlike most other action movies where the lead actor usually has a sound mind, agile body and of tip-top finesse, Lao Ding (played by Sammo Hung) has none of the above. The movie spent almost half the screen time developing Lao Ding's character, not on him fighting, but on his background and his interactions (or rather, the lack of them) with other characters.

The Bodyguard (特工爷爷) Movie Stills

His character was really well-developed. I could feel his sense of loneliness and the "what-should-I-do-with-my-life" outlook. 

I was genuinely overwhelmed when Lao Ding finally decided to snap out of his 'loser, self-blaming life' and took up the responsibility of the little girl. 

Besides Sammo Hung, there were three other characters who really stood out for me in the film.

1. Andy Lau

The Bodyguard (特工爷爷) Movie Stills - Andy Lau

This guy doesn't age. After so many years, he still retains his charm. I heard a few girls gushing when he first appeared on the screen. 

The Bodyguard (特工爷爷) Movie Stills - Andy Lau

This was also my first time seeing him play as a 'bad' character. He plays a really sucky dad in the film, and I thought he portrayed his character really well, especially his love for his daughter. He is a character you would both hate and love... just like your annoying husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend.

2. Li Qin Qin

The Bodyguard (特工爷爷) Movie Stills - 李勤勤

HAHAHA she is the one that provides the many comedic relief in this film. You will laugh whenever she comes on screen!

3. Jacqueline Chan 

The Bodyguard (特工爷爷) Movie Stills - 陈沛妍

The Bodyguard (特工爷爷) Movie Stills - Jacqueline Chan and Sammo Hung

The chemistry between Lao Ding and Xiao Chun Hua (Jacqueline Chan) can give you those little warm, joyous feelings in your heart, akin to those you would feel when your grandma makes you her signature kueh. 

And conversely, you would feel as if a cold hand has entered and snuffed those warmth in your heart when these two were separated. That sense of longing when Lao Ding looks at his empty room...

The movie would have been even better if it wasn't dubbed. I feel that dubbing takes away a huge part of realism to the movie. I seriously wonder why they still think dubbing is a good idea, China market or not. 

Another #evilbean rating was taken away because of the choice of scores used in the film. I thought that the scores were at times, too loud and in other times, too inappropriate. There was this one scene where it was just drums and bass playing, and I thought they were gonna reveal someone practising on those drums in another room or something. 

Turns out, it was their score. WHAT? THAT FELT SO OUT OF PLACE.

What gif

Overall, the movie was still pretty enjoyable. I enjoyed the uncensored gore, the action and the characters. After 17 years of hiatus, Sammo Hung returns as a director for this film, because he was attracted by the script, and you will see the reason why he was so captivated on the story after you have caught this film.

Stay back for: Don't stay back already, go back home and show some care and concern for your grandparents. Treasure your loved ones before they are gone mentally... and physically.

Fun fact: Andy Lau is not only one of the film's producers, he also sings for the movie OST: 原谅我.

Movie Rating (out of 5 Evilbeans):


The Bodyguard (特工爷爷) Sammo Hung

The Bodyguard (特工爷爷) (NC16)
Running Time: 99 minutes 
Release Date: 07/04/2016

Thank you Clover Films for the invite!

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