Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Killer (1989)

Director: John Woo

Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: One Vicious Killer. One Relentless Cop... ...Ten Thousand Bullets.

Plot: A violent Hong Kong action film, this is the story of an assassin, Jeffrey Chow (Yun-Fat) who takes one last job so he can retire and care for his girlfriend Jenny. When his employers betray him, he reluctantly joins forces with Inspector Lee (aka Dumbo), the cop who is pursuing him. Together, the new friends face the final confrontation of the gangsters out to kill them.

My Rating: 8/10
Would I watch it again? Sure

I first saw this back in college in the early 90s. I worked at a mom & pop video store at the time and it looked like fun. It was then and still is now. What stuck in my mind for those 15 years was the final 20 minute shoot-out in a church complete with doves and enough slow-motion to make another movie. John Woo knows action and that's where this movie shines.

Yun-Fat is great as the killer-with-a-heart-of-gold. Equally as fun is his police adversary, Lee. When there's drama it gets a bit too sappy at times but when there's action it's balls-out, fucked-up fury like you've never seen. Well, if you've watched a lot of action/crime movies in the past 18 years you will have seen A TON of it since Woo has been one of the most imitated directors ever. If you've ever seen someone flying sideways firing two guns in slow-motion then you've seen his influence. His action scenes will have your jaw dropping to the floor with giddy glee. His use of slow-motion is as good as, if not better than, Sam Peckinpah! I only like slow-motion when it's done well and I dread it when it's not. Woo uses it a lot and it somehow doesn't seem wrong.

With my only slight gripe being the sugary dramatic scenes I hear Woo's HARD BOILED (1992 - also with Yun-Fat) is the one for me. Apparently he toned down the drama and delivered more action. I'll have to make that one a priority.

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