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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What action films are all about
This and 'The Killer' were the two breakout films that got John Woo noticed in Hollywood and its not hard to see why. In an era of action films ruled by Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Van Damme, it was John Woo who breathed new life into the genre with his own brand of coolness.

'Hard Boiled' is, on paper, a conventional thriller about a reckless Hong Kong cop...
Published on 15 Jun 2007 by M. JONES

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, but here's a warning.
Hard Boiled is without a doubt one of my favourite John Woo films, its up there with the likes of the Killer and Better Luck Tommorow. When I saw this dvd going for so cheap I was quick to snatch it up... The problem is, this prism leasure version, is the terrible english dubbed release.

If I knew that this version was dubbed, I sure as hell wouldn't of bought...
Published on 13 Jan 2010 by Anthony Boobier


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film, but here's a warning., 13 Jan 2010
By 
Anthony Boobier (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hard Boiled [DVD] (DVD)
Hard Boiled is without a doubt one of my favourite John Woo films, its up there with the likes of the Killer and Better Luck Tommorow. When I saw this dvd going for so cheap I was quick to snatch it up... The problem is, this prism leasure version, is the terrible english dubbed release.

If I knew that this version was dubbed, I sure as hell wouldn't of bought it. I love hard boiled, but this version does not do it justice.

The great performances, the stunning action scenes and the breathtaking editing syle of this film is cheapened by stupid american accents. I'm going to purchase the collector's edition soon to get the soundtrack this film truly deserves.

In short, if you can't be arsed reading subtitles... You shouldn't watch foreign films. These over-dubs need to stop, they cheapen so many great movies.

If you feel the same way as me, avoid the prism leasure version of this film.

I'm only giving it 3 stars cause this great film, even with the bad over-dudbbing, is still watchable. I'd usually give this 5.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What action films are all about, 15 Jun 2007
By 
M. JONES "mj1001" (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This and 'The Killer' were the two breakout films that got John Woo noticed in Hollywood and its not hard to see why. In an era of action films ruled by Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Van Damme, it was John Woo who breathed new life into the genre with his own brand of coolness.

'Hard Boiled' is, on paper, a conventional thriller about a reckless Hong Kong cop who is out for revenge against a gun-smuggling ring. Along the way, he encounters an undercover cop already on the case who he eventually partners up with. Although the story is pretty ordinary, lacking the emotional drama of 'The Killer', the action is non-stop and represents Woo at the top of his game.

Once again, Woo delivers awesome shootouts and insane stuntwork in a relentlessly entertaining action flick. In fact, you can break the film down into a series of set-pieces which include a eyepopping shootout at a teahouse and a bloodsoaked 40 minute finale inside a hospital. The standout moment of the film is a one-take action sequence that follows the two men through the hospital and is nothing short of amazing.

Chow Yun Fat returns as the hard-boiled cop and Tony Leung is his undercover ally. Both men exert coolness throughout the film and their scenes together are always entertaining. 'The Killer' is may have a better storyline but as far as action goes, you can't get any better than 'Hard Boiled'.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trademark John Woo, 20 April 2007
This review is from: Hard Boiled [DVD] (DVD)
Director John Woo has a powerful and explosive style that will leave you breathless after watching this extremely violent action flick.The camera is everywhere flying from place to place.And there are people everywhere.All of them firing a gun or two.I have never seen such energy before.The violence in "Hardboiled" is very brutal and well directed.The last half hour of this film,which take place in the hospital is full of inventive action sequences.Chow Yun-Fat is really good as a tough policeman and it's also very nice to see Anthony Wong-what a great performance!

I also love the scene where Chow Yun Fat is saved from burning by the baby peeing on him. I like Hong Kong-action films by John Woo.Anyway, if you're tired of Hollywood's action trash,then this one is a must-see.Recommended!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let me catch my breath!, 15 Jan 2006
By 
Sam (Newcastle, Uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hard Boiled [DVD] (DVD)
Set in the violent Hong Kong underworld, Hard Boiled tells the story of a gun-happy detective (Yun-Fat Chow) who prefers shooting than confronting and arresting. While confronting smugglers illegally bringing guns into Hong Kong his partner is unjustly murdered by an undercover cop (Tony Leung Chiu Wai). After some persuasion the two of the team up to take down the mob and saves the lives of hundreds of civilians.

You might think this sounds all too familiar to be interesting, but don't be put off. The storyline takes a back-seat in this film. The violent half hour gun fights take centre stage. It's all about the gun fights, if you feel like watching and action packed movie, no thinking required you can not go far wrong with this. The action is so mind blowing you need a couple of minutes to catch your breath after each 'massacre' of Hong Kong gang members. Believability is not a factor in this film, no one reloads, non of the "good guys" are ever killed but that is not the point of this film.

It is near impossible to rate the acting in this film, most characters are dead before you get a chance to see their face. Of course the main actors do what their job nicely. Directed by the legendary action director John Woo, all his trademarks are here, chaotic gun fights, fast dialogue and graphic violence, if you enjoyed any of his Hollywood movies, I gurantee this will blow your mind.

I couldn't find much wrong with the DVD itself, one of its biggest downfalls is the dubbing. As usual the dubbing is quite laughable and no option to watch it in its original language is a bit disappointing. Although it will not ruin your enjoyment of the movie, as I said before, the story line takes a back-seat in this film. The only subtitles available are English.

All in all this film is enjoyable if you're looking for an easy film to watch, definitely a great film for any fans of action movies. Do not expect a complex storyline or outstanding acting. Just enjoy this movie for what it is and not for what it isn't.

Sam
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Action Thiller!, 3 May 2000
This review is from: Hard Boiled [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Hard Boiled is quite possibly the 2nd best action film ever made, only bettered by John Woo's Amazing 'The Killer' this is one film you have to own if you are a fan of the Action genre, this DVD version may have no widescreen and the dubbing is slightly cheezy but if you watch it in its original Cantonese with english subtitles it is absolutely outstanding!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A terrific action film - but be careful which version you get, 15 Oct 2012
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
'John Woo is God' screamed the UK posters with somewhat gleeful blasphemously. Well, not quite, but in his long-passed Hong Kong prime he could certainly give the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse a run for their money.

The plot is elementary: renegade cop finds his destiny entwined with a mysterious hitman as he tries to track down a gang of gunrunners. Respect for human life is pretty low on the agenda: the cops here are more worried about the one of their own who gets killed than the couple of hundred innocent bystanders that get caught up in the crossfire (when one of the villains uses a waiter as a shield, it's the cop's bullets that kill him, while the logic of the police evacuating the patients of a hospital directly into the line of fire of several machine gun toting maniacs is bonkers even by HK action-movie standards). Although there are undercurrents of (highly selective) morality and divided loyalties, what Woo is about is action, with Hard Boiled offering more firepower in its two hours than Hollywood did in the entire 1990s.

There are some dazzling setpieces, with an interesting move from slow-motion to normal speed within individual shots, and for stylish violence Woo is hard to beat but, unfortunately, he overplays his hand with the hospital finale where the bodycount moves into four figures and the constant need to top himself leads to overkill, both literal and figurative. It's here that the film really needs to take a breather for a reel or so - the action, though occasionally repetitive (there is at least one Nexican standoff too many), is not the problem, the pacing is. The action may be bigger, the body count may be higher, but compared to the brilliantly staged raid on the arms warehouse - one of the great action scenes of the decade - it tends to lose your involvement.

The two leads play well off each other, Chow Yun Fat exuding star quality as the maverick cop and Tony Leung excellent as the hitman/undercover cop all too aware that he has lost his identity and morbidly aware of the possibility of an anonymous death, and for all my reservations about the second half, this is still easily one of the best action movies currently available on DVD - but be careful which version you get...

Prism and Tartan's budget release only offers the dubbed English language version, and it's not a good dub - and to make matters worse, the film is cropped into fullframe from its original widescreen ratio; Tartan's original release had the proper widescreen ratio with Cantonese soundtrack and non-removeable subtitles as well as an interview with John Woo and the UK trailer (though their initial release only included a trailer); while The weinstein Company's Dragon Dynasty two-disc US NTSC DVD includes plenty of extras (audio commentary by Bey Logan, interviews with Woo, Terence Chang, Philip Chan and Kwok Choi, a location guide and two trailers) but the subtitles translate the dubbed English soundtrack rather than the Cantonese original and the transfer is slightly cropped. The Dragon Dynasty US Blu-ray drops the interviews with Chang, Chan and Choi as well as the trailers and has a very weak upscaled transfer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome John Woo flick!, 14 Sep 2008
By 
Mr. W. Joseph "wayne5241" (Luton, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. No movie has ever had this level of stylishly directed action, NOT EVEN CLOSE. This movie has the 3 best action sequences in the history of cinema, PERIOD.

The story is about a cop named Tequila who, at the beginning of the film, loses his good friend and fellow cop, in a teahouse shoot-out. He goes against all orders in trying to bring down the Triad that caused his friends death. In doing so, he inadvertantly finds out that there is an undercover cop, Tony, in the Triad he is trying to bring down, and eventually teams up with him.

This isn't your standard buddy cop fair like Lethal Weapon with tons of cheesey lines, dorky action and sappy side stories. The dialogue is insightful the action is the best ever and the side stories are well thought out, if a bit abbreviated (due to lack of time to shoot John Woo admits).

Tequila is trying to deal with a failed relationship and the death of his partner, Tony is torn against blowing his cover and defending his honor and the Lieutenant insists on playing it by the book even though it isn't fair.

John Woo said he made this film in honor of the men and women of the Hong Kong police force and the good work they do. He wanted to make a movie about the good guys winning. What he has done is made one of the most pivitol action films ever made, influencing every action movie since.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible DVD Version Pan & Scan Only & Dubbed, 7 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hard Boiled [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
This is a travesty of a seminal classic Movie. Its Pan & Scan only (no widescreen) and dubbed (badly). Avoid.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars it makes you want to cry, 26 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hard Boiled [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
i'm now in my 3rd year of DVD ownership, and yet i am still amazed at how great films can be mauled by distribution companies when released onto this superb format. a few years ago metro-tartan were to be lauded for releasing hard boiled as pan-and-scan dubbed AND widescreen subtitled on VHS. a choice that we could make as to which format suited our style of viewing. fast forward to the digital age....it looks like they picked this print from the bin, my 5 year old vhs transfer is cleaner! where's the use of the flexibilty that DVD allows? cant both versions of this film occupy the same disc? i love the cinema of vengence genre,i love this film, i love most john woo/chow yun fat films, but this version is an absolute disgrace and travesty... NOT BUY THIS DVD...BUY THE VHS VERSION
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic john woo, 8 Sep 2012
This review is from: Hard Boiled [Blu-ray] [1992] [US Import] (Blu-ray)
This blu ray film looks a bit dated but what a film for over the top action fans.. the picture and subtitles are clearer than the dvd and the stylish gun fights are awesome.. Hong Kong classic
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Hard Boiled [Blu-ray] [1992] [US Import]
Hard Boiled [Blu-ray] [1992] [US Import] by John Woo (Blu-ray - 2010)
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