Jet Li stars in "The Defender", a movie that shows off his ability in a few of the film's scenes, but there are elements that take away from the enjoyment. The characters are somewhat thinly written and the humourous elements are a little too cartoonish.
Li stars as Chang, a bodyguard called in to protect a young girl who was a witness to a murder. He seeks to protect her; she becomes seriously annoying and risks her safety several times because "she needs to go shopping". Her character is tiring enough to ruin some scenes in the movie. On the other hand, Li doesn't get much of a chance to do anything as Chang, who has few lines.
The film also doesn't give Li much of a chance to show off his martial arts skills. The film's few action sequences are pretty average, and his "Twin Warriors" offers better and more creative action scenes.
VIDEO: Unfortunately, Dimension has decided to present "The Defender" as a non-anamorphic title, letterboxed at 1.85:1. The picture though, is suprisingly good in terms of quality. There are a few minor slips where the image is slightly soft, but sharpness is generally pleasing. Detail is good as well, and clarity is never lacking.
Colors are solid as well, looking nicely saturated and never faded. The problems come from a bit of grain in some scenes and a couple of instances where trace amounts of pixelation appear. The print used is in good condition, and only has a couple of slight marks. A solid looking image, not outstanding but certainly good.
SOUND: An English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is provided here, and although it's not terribly active, it is a strong presentation. The audio is mostly from the front, and much of the presentation is focused on the score. The occasional action sequence does provide a little bit more intensity, but surround use is pretty limited. No hiss or distortion, and everything remains clear and easily heard.
MENUS:: Basic, non-animated menus with film-themed art.
Final Thoughts: An ok movie; sort of entertaining at times, but not great. Image and sound quality are fine, but there's nothing in the way of extras. Might be worth a look as a rental if you're a Jet Li fan.
The Film C+
Video 88/B = (356/400 possible points)
Audio: 86/B = (344/400 possible points)
Extras: 0/F = (0/300 possible points)
Menus: 70/C- = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 78/C = (234/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: C+
DVD GRADE: D