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Born to Defense [DVD] [1987] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Only 1 left in stock.
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£29.94 Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by M and N Media US.

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Product details

  • Language: Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: 6305763216
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,845 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Format: VHS Tape
The first film to be produced, directed and starring Jet Li, one of Hong Kongs finest exports, Born to Defend lacks the choreographic finese that was evident in Jets first films (The Shaolin Trilogy), and replaces it with a Jean Claude Van Damme punching and kicking like you have no training - esque way. However, it should be said that for a first stint at directing, Li's film contains some nice cinematography, and some interesting characters that keep you hooked til the films finale. Definately worth a look just for Li's involvement, and even more so for a "not set 100 years ago" Martial Arts movie.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8dc5b51c) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d9bb27c) out of 5 stars "Vengeance! Vengeance! Vengeance!" 9 Jun. 2012
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Depending on where you get your information from, "Born to Defense" is either Jet Li's seventh or third film, but in either case, it's impressive that it would be Li's directorial debut so early in his movie career. He doesn't do a bad job of things, all things considered, so it's a bit surprising that he hasn't directed since. With that said, the film seems to hit & miss with audiences, and I can see why: aside from being uncharacteristically gritty for a Li picture of its time, its one-sided examination of post-war race relations between Chinese and Americans is sure to alienate some viewers.

The story: Jet Yong (Li, Hero) returns home after defending his country from Japanese aggressors, only to find the town overrun by rowdy and violent American sailors. Refusing to lay down to their bullying, he defies the blind eye of authorities and takes them on in a fight for honor.

Hong Kong cinema is so different from Hollywood fare that I can't justly compare Li's freshman effort with those of other action-heroes-turned-directors, like Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme, but I can say that I didn't notice any technical snafus in the movie. The opening scene wherein Jet's legion fights off Japanese tanks felt sort of awkwardly staged, although this might simply be a matter of me not being used to seeing Li in any war-related scenes. Technically or aesthetically, the film doesn't really do anything out of the ordinary, but it doesn't need to. With nothing but the fight scenes to distract us (more on those in a moment), we're left to focus on the story, which really goes out of its way to promote Chinese nationalism through western racism. I'm not a WWII expert and I know the movie isn't meant to be taken factually, but the actions of the American antagonists are overblown even by the gweilo standards of Hong Kong. It's not nearly realistic enough to make you feel ashamed of being American, but it makes you wonder whether Dimension Home Video was ever really meant to pick up this one for the US-released Jet Li Collection series.

Of course, if they were going just by the action scenes, it's a little more understandable, since these are pretty unique by Li's standards. Jet is one of the best guys when it comes to fighting on wires and doing acrobatic brawls, but the dude is no slouch when it comes to supplying more grounded encounters. They're not entirely realistic, especially when it comes to portraying just how much damage a 5'6", 130-pound man can absorb, but boy are they fun to watch. Li has two worthy opponents in Paolo Tocha (the cocky muay thai fighter from Bloodsport) and the Swedish giant Kurt Petersson ("Bruce Lee's Dragons Fight Back"), and the kung fu vs. boxing choreography is pretty fluid between them. Surprisingly, there are only four real fights to be seen, but it doesn't matter much since the Li-Petersson brawls are surprisingly long - I think their initial ring fight reaches the six-minute mark.

The ending is shockingly bitter, featuring a triple murder (two by the Americans, one by Jet) and no real resolution - just a minor moral high ground for the protagonist, who ended up getting beaten up so badly that he (Li) hardly looks like himself anymore at the end of the final showdown. At this point in the movie, you may have been expecting something similar, but again, it's far from typical Jet Li fare. For fans, it's definitely worth checking out if only for comparison or novelty's sake, but casual viewers will almost definitely prefer his more typical output.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d9bbaec) out of 5 stars Some fierce fighting 17 Jun. 2001
By genkidama20 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I know a lot of others think this movie stinks b/c it has a horrible story line and it's a dark movie and there is not fantasy to it... but what I LOVE about it is that they do some pretty funky fighting. Jet Li actually does some serious funky fighting in this movie. There is a lot of rage, anger, and bitterness that comes out of this movie. I personally like the last fight scene. It's got a lot of boxing/kick boxing style fighting in it from the Navy guys and Jet Li doesn't get to fly around and do much of his 'wire works'(using wires to fly around on). But the best thing about this movie is that they don't make him look like an invincible guy(like they usually do)... and he actually get's beat up pretty bad.I like it myself though, It's not a bad movie. You should buy it if you are a Jet Li fan.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d9bbd2c) out of 5 stars Bad, just bad 6 Mar. 2006
By morgoth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
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.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d6890a8) out of 5 stars good movie 7 Mar. 2014
By LC Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Jet li in his younger years. Good fights and u can see li fighting in his beginning years. Pretty good story.
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d9bbe40) out of 5 stars JET LI'S BEST MOVIE TO DATE 18 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
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.
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