From Killer, Hard Boiled, and Infernal Affairs (Departed is the North American knock off)... Hong Kong cinema knows how to keep the audience glued to their seats. Sweeping the Asian awards last year was the hit Bodyguards and Assassins, an exceptional experience of both historical significance, action and suspense.
Blasting out of the gates, the violent story follows the days leading up to the arrival of revolutionary Sun Yat-sen in 1905 to discuss plans for revolution with fellow Tongmenghui members to overthrow the corrupt Qing Dynasty. Beginning with the assassination of one of Sun's supporters, the main storyline follow's Li Yutang, a wealthy businessman who provides financial support for revolutionaries such as his old friend chief editor Chen Shaobai.
Hong Kong, a colony of the British Empire at the time, ignores the political situation, giving the assassins free reign to plot the demise of Sun Yat-sen during his arrival in Hong Kong. Li Yutang, infuriated by the British authorities action to close the newspaper activities decides to declare his support of the revolution officially. LiYutang and Chen Shaobai lead the group to create a diversion during Sun Yat-sen's meeting, but not without painful sacrifices and losses. The meeting proved to be a pivotal moment in Chinese history, with changes in beliefs that have resonated through the generations . Extra kudos to the director and writers, for skillfully weaving a number of main characters into the intricate dance of political intrigue. Well worth the investment.
With the Good, The Bad, and the Weird being released in North America, it is only a matter of time before the West discovers this marvellous gem.
Watch trailer here