I watched Face/Off for the millionth time recently, and after watching and loving Hard Boiled not too long ago I’ve been on an action movie (specifically John Woo) kick ever since.
The Killer is another one of John Woo’s Hong Kong action flicks, only released three years prior to Hard Boiled. Starring the infinitely cool Chow Yun-Fat as Ah Jong, the titular killer who falls in love with Jennie (Sally Yeh), a lounge singer whom he blinded by accident while performing a hit for the Triads. After another hit which goes awry, Jong pops up on Detective Ying’s (Danny Lee) radar.
When Ah Jong performs a final hit for an aspiring Triad boss so he can get the money needed to cure Jennie’s blindness, Ying pursues the mysterious assassin, becoming more and more obsessed with him. After the hit, Jong finds the men who sent him out are looking to terminate him, and now he must evade pursuit from both the police and his employers. Tensions rise between the police and the Triads, and many, many, many bullets are exchanged along the way. (more…)
Action movies were the first genre of movies that really captured my imagination. When I was a wee lad, explosions, gunfire, and karate chops were the quickest ways for a movie to make it’s way into my heart. Regardless of the quality of the action, let alone the rest of the movie, if there was action to be had I would eat it up. Now that I’m a little older and a lot grumpier, action movies have to earn their respect from me. I’m a lot more critical of movies than in my youth, and shit like Tak-three-n doesn’t fly with me anymore. While I still like to think I have a childlike enamoring to big explosions and loud, dumb action in movies, the execution of these juvenile films is of equal importance to me now.
Hard Boiled is a Hong Kong action flick written and directed by the legendary John Woo (The Killer, Hard Target, Mission: Impossible II, Face/Off) starring Chow Yun-Fat (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) and Tony Leung (Hero). Hard Boiled is widely considered one of the greatest action movies of all time, even being inducted into the Criterion Collection because a movie where Chow Yun-Fat soars through the air blowing up a thug on a dirt bike with a well placed shotgun blast is considered to be at the same level of cinematic brilliance that Bergman’s The Seventh Seal or Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai are.
Hard Boiled follows Inspector Tequila (yes, really) played by Yun-Fat, a gritty cop from the streets tasked with taking down a local gang of Triads. Tequila is ruthless and unorthodox in his policing, butting heads with his chief whenever he’s out on a mission. Along the way, he runs into Alan (Leung), another cop who has been deep under cover with the Triads, slowly moving his way up the ranks. Together, they team up to investigate the Triad gun smuggling operation in Hong Kong. Tequila wants the Triads dead, but Alan needs to keep his cover so that he can bring them down from the inside. Tensions rise between the police and the Triads, and many, many, many bullets are exchanged along the way.