18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Killer [DVD] (DVD)
I just read the main review for this title and it fails to deliver on why this film is a unique and genre defining piece of Asian Cinema. The most instructive way to consider this work is through avoiding parallels and influences and tribute spiels, but rather to concentrate on what distinguishes the work from its contemporaries.
What needs to be stressed is that The Killer is a film that could only have been made in Hong Kong. Watch this film to see why people refer to Hong Kong as the very pinnacle of action movie making (especially mid to late 80's). Woo's influences are certainly diverse but this is to overlook the central attractions of The Killer. (of which there are two)
- The Killer perhaps better than any other Woo work manages to blur the line between the cop and the killer (the exact opposite of Face Off - which accentuates the distinction). By the end of the film it becomes clear that what is legal / illegal and what is right / wrong are two different questions. Woo proposes that the moral and legal spheres operate on two disparate levels.
- Chow Yun Fat plays the deadly assasin in this movie. After a hugely succesful career as the hero, the loyal and honourable friend, Woo casts Chow to play the lead lawbreaker. Few actors could effect such a seamless transition in character, whereas others such as Willis have fumbled when outside the 'good-guy' comfort zone.
Watch this movie for powerful yet bloody Hong Kong action at its very best. This film is maturer that the Better Tomorrow series and certainly less corny that Hard Boiled. I have no reservations in classing this the high points of both Woo and Chow Yun Fat. An absolute classic, that's my 'tribute' to this movie!