The Bodyguard (2016 film)
Country Hong Kong
|Director Sammo Hung|
The Bodyguard (also known as My Beloved Bodyguard) is a 2016 Hong Kong-Chinese action drama film directed by and starring Sammo Hung in his first film as director since 1997's Once Upon a Time in China and America. Andy Lau serves as one of the film's producers while also making a special appearance. The film was released on 1 April 2016.
The film is set in the 2000s in a medium-sized Chinese city located in northeast China, close to the Russian border. An old, overweight man named Ding witnesses a man being stabbed by a gang, but when he is summoned by the police to identify the suspect, he hesitates and is unable to. The police research Ding's background and discover that he is a retired Central Security Bureau officer from Beijing, and they figure that he is suffering from dementia. Back at his home, Ding is frequently invited for supper by his land-lord, Park, an elderly lady who is attracted to him. Ding, in turn, frequently cares for a little girl next door named Cherry, whose father, Li, is an abusive gambler.
When Li becomes heavily in debt because of his gambling, Choi, a Chinese person of Korean descent, who happens to be the leader of the aforementioned gang, forces Li to embark on a criminal assignment. Li is driven to a hotel and told to steal the shoulder-bag of a Russian gang leader. The alarm is raised but Li escapes with the bag after a protracted chase. However, upon being told that his debt isn't absolved, Li goes into hiding, taking the bag with him. Choi reacts by sending men to abduct Li's daughter. Meanwhile, the Russian gang leader feels angry and plans an attack against Choi's gang for violating their territory.
Choi's gang members follow Cherry and assault Ding's home after she enters it, but to their dismay, Ding proves to be a remarkable fighter, and they are repelled. To avoid arrest, two of them are sent by Choi to hide in the countryside. The police, noticing that Li has disappeared, send Cherry to live with her aunt and uncle. However, within a short time, the aunt and uncle wish to eject her, and Ding agrees to provide for her living. Then one night, Cherry goes missing, and what is more, Li suddenly appears in Ding's home, bringing money in order to compensate Ding for his service. As Li exits the house, he is assaulted by Choi's gang and killed, and the shoulder-bag is taken back.
Ding, who has been plagued with guilt for years, ever since his grand-daughter went missing on a hiking trip, resolves to bring Cherry back using force. He visits the gambling house demanding Cherry's release, and when Choi's gang attempts to kill him, he overpowers around 20 of them including a skilled knife assassin. At that moment, some of the Russian gang members appear and start to kill the rest of Choi's men in an attempt to reclaim their stolen money. Seeing this, Choi escapes, but not before Ding wounds his leg. The Russians proceed to attack Ding, believing that he works for Choi, and Ding is forced to kill them. At the same time, the police, led by Park's son, chase after two leaders of the Russian gang, who die when they collide with a truck. Choi, who thinks he is safe, is approached by the two subordinates he sent into the countryside. They proceed to murder Choi and to rob him, having accepted a Russian bribe to do so.
In the aftermath of the incident, Ding's dementia worsens, and he is paralyzed by the loss of Cherry. The police make no attempt to blame Ding, recognizing that his actions were self-defense. Suddenly, Cherry returns, revealing that she simply ran off to live at a friend's house. Even as Ding forgets his family members, he remembers his relationship with Cherry, who cares for him well into his senescence. In a scene after the credits, the two countryside criminals accidentally encounter a group of drilling PLA military-police, who turn and give chase. After a short chase the remaining criminals are captured.
Jackie Chan was originally offered a role in the film. However, Chan turned down the role due to scheduling conflicts and his son Jaycee Chan's recent drug arrest. Filming for The Bodyguard began in August 2014. On 22 September, guest star Andy Lau filmed an action scene in Vladivostok, Russia where he portrays a thief who stole a bag of diamonds and flees by jumping from a building to the top of a car. At the same day, director Sammo Hung also says that there are only ten days of scenes left that have yet to be filmed.
The film was filmed in Suifenhe, Heilongjiang Province in China and in Vladivostok, Russia.
The film grossed US$8.4 million on its opening day in mainland China and was number-one on the opening weekend, with CN¥164 million (US$25.2 million). It grossed US$52.8 million worldwide.