Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 3rd, 2004
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong 1994
Director: Corey Yuen
Writers: Gordon Chan, Kin Chung Chan
Cast: Jet Li, Christy Chung, Kent Cheng
DVD Released: August 15th, 2000
Approximate Running Time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English
DVD Release: Disney/Buena Vista
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
Synopsis: A corrupt businessman commits a murder and all the witness’s start to drop like flies. Professional Bodyguard John Chang (Jet Li) is called in to protect Michelle Yeung (Christy Chung) and assist two Hong Kong cops protect her. John Chang tries to protect Michelle from the bad guys. She is annoyed by his presence and she makes his life difficult at first. As the film progresses they fall deeper in love.
The plot may not be the most original and the characters are so under developed and the humor in the film doesn’t come off right. There are of course plenty of fight scenes and Jet Li shows why he is one bad hombre. The martial arts in the film is really well done and thought out, but then this film was directed by Corey Yuen (High Risk, So Close, The Transporter) and Mr. Yuen knows his stuff when it comes to martial arts. In Hong Kong or in the U.S. Corey Yuen has worked as director, action director and action choreographer and he has teamed up with Jet Li many times and with The Defender they give us a high flying thrill ride that shows why action is king in Hong Kong.
Presented in a Non-Anamorphic 1:85:1 widescreen and even though the picture hasn’t been Anamorphic enhanced it is surprisingly sharp and colorful. The Grain is kept to a minimum and the details are sharp throughout with next to no artifacts.
Unfortunately the only audio track included is the Dubbed English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. To bad they didn’t include a Mandarin or Chinese audio option. Still the audio track included more then delivers the goods. Clear and easy to hear the action scenes is when the sounds kicks it up a notch and the surrounds can be limiting.
The DVD has forced trailers for the Defender and a few other Dimension titles and that is about it. This film has some cool action sequences (Most notably the scene that takes place in the mall) and Jet Li gets show his skills off throughout this film. What the Defender lacks in story it more then delivers in action.