Kung fu superstar Jet Li (Romeo Must Die, The One, the Once Upon a Time in China series) makes his directorial debut with Born to Defense. When a Chinese soldier (Li) returns from fighting Japan, he discovers that his h... more »ome town has become a base for the American navy. The arrogant and abusive sailors treat the locals with brutal disrespect, stirring up anger and violence. Of course, Li comes to the defense of an old friend and his daughter, who's been forced into prostitution. It's a good thing Li hasn't quit acting; the script is pure melodrama and Li's fledgling direction doesn't rise above that. But, as ever, the fight sequences are many and vigorous, especially a lengthy one-on-one donnybrook in a rain-drenched boxing ring between the diminutive Li and a huge naval officer. --Bret Fetzer« less
Waylon Piercy | Petal, MS United States | 10/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Born to Defense" is the first-- and only-- film directed by Jet Li. Personally, I consider it a worthy film, even though it is not among his finest. Jet portrays a Waorld WarII vet who, upon returning to China with his army buddies, finds that the American and British troops are receiving the heroes' welcome, while the Chinese who fought alongside them are neglected. This intolerable state of affairs comes to a head when some thuggish US Navy members begin assaulting Jet and some of his friends. Naturally, this film can only end with Jet ripping these guys to pieces! Interestingly, Jet displays a talent for boxing, something I've seen in none of his films before nor since "BTD." There are some pretty good action scenes if you can handle the atrocious acting by just about everyone in the film, and the boxing scene that evovles into a full-blown bar brawl is quite good. This DVD has one of the most horrible transfers I've ever seen; it appears to have been hanging around in someone's bathroom for the past fifteen years. The four-star rating is just for the film itself. "Born to Defense" may not please the casual fan, but Jet's fans shouldn't miss it."
JET LI'S BEST MOVIE TO DATE
morgoth | 05/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THIS MOVIE WAS DIRECTED BY JET LI IN 1985. IT WAS RELEASED FOR YEARS IN VHS AND DVD FORMAT WITH BAD PRINTS. NOW DIMENSION HAS TAKEN IT AND ADDED IT TO THE JET LI COLLECTION. GIVING IT A SHARP RAZOR CRISP PICTURE. THE MOVIE TELLS THE STORY OF A SOLDIER RETURNING FROM COMBAT. HE MEETS UP WITH HIS OLD FAMILY AND FRIENDS. BUT LUCK WILL HAVE YOU GETS INTO A FIGHT WITH THE LOCAL AMERICAN SOLDIERS STATIONED THERE. IM GUESSING THE MOVIE WAS SET IN A PORT CITY DURING CHINA WWII. THE FIGHT SCENES DONT INVOLVE FLING AND DEATH DEFYING. THEY RELY ON JET'S RAZOR SHARP SPEED AND AGILITY. I GUARANTEE IF YOU WATCH THIS MOVIE YOU'LL BE SHOCKED TO SEE JET LI USE THE FIGHTING STYLES HE DOES. AND HOW HIS FACE GET BEATEN TO A BLOODY PULP EVERYTIME HE ENGAGES IN A FIGHT. AFTER A FEW BLOODY BRAWLS AT THE LOCAL TAVERN WITH THE SOLDIERS, THE SOLDIERS CROSS THE LINE AND MURDER THE TWO PEOPLE JET HOLDS DEAR. THEN HE GOES INTO A KILLER FRENZY. JET LI IS ONE OF THE BEST ACTION STARS IN CURRENT MOVIES. HIS LAST MOVIE "HERO" SHOWED HE IS CAPABLE OF HANDLING SERIOUS DRAMATIC ROLES. JET IS THE LAST OF A DYING BREED OF MARTIAL ARTISTS WHO DIDN'T RELY ON COMPUTERS TO AIDE THEM IN THERE FIGHT SCENS. HE DID IT ALL BY HIMSELF WITH SOME GOOD STUNT CHOREOGRAPHY AND HERE HE DOES JUST THAT."
Why Jet Li doesn't direct anymore
rushylon5 | 08/27/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Jet Li is an incredible martial artist, not director. This movie shows that truism clearly. The first action sequence is decent enough with Jet scrambling to stay out of the way of tanks and other war time materials, but after that no fight scene is worth the time. Badly shot and poorly lit film, unfortunately. ..."
morgoth | 08/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jet Li does a good job of directing this film. It's a good tale of revenge and all out hardcore fighting. Jet does a reely good job of acting in this film, the Americans don't do that good. Jet doesn't do that much "real" boxing since he uses his legs sumtimes in the ring. Anywayz I reely like this film a lot and the fightings reely good all out hardcore blood shed fighting. At the end Jet and the Tall American commander go all out using ther legs and chains, hammers, huge screws and etc. Good stuff. You''l be cheering jet on as he beats down the ones who black mailed him and killed his Uncle and neice."
Bad, just bad
morgoth | omaha, NE | 03/06/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this on TNN, and NOW I have heard the worst dubbing job ever. The storyline isn't very bad, but everything else sucks in this movie. It sucks that it was Jet Li himself that put him in this position. That being said, he is VERY young in this movie, and can't act. It's surprising he is as good as he is in the Once Upon a Time in China series, because he showed no promise here. The fight scenes are almost watching in this, but highly NOT recommended by me."