Tag Archives: Yun-Fat Chow

John Woo – Laat sau sen taan aka Hard-Boiled (1992)

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It is almost impossible to review Hard Boiled and at the same time avoid the bottomless anus-bowl of cliches that surround it. I’m sure it’s been described as “a high octane thrill ride”, and even on the box it says Hard Boiled is “an action fan’s dream”. This is all true, but plain and simple it is just a damn awesome movie. I am at a loss for bad things to say about it. Not many movies get me as pumped up as Hard Boiled does. It uses an arsenal of well executed techniques to draw the viewer into each and every action sequence. Read More »

Roger Spottiswoode – The Children of Huang Shi (2008)

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Like an eager frequent flyer, Western paternalism changes destinations but not its baggage. The Children of Huang Shi takes the good intentions and terrible methods of The Constant Gardener and Blood Diamond and takes them to China, where another traumatizing upheaval is whittled down to window-dressing for the personal romance and redemption of a couple of chalky-white stars. Business as usual for Roger Spottiswoode, who in the 1983 thriller Under Fire envisioned the Nicaraguan revolution as mere scrim on which a hotshot American reporter could get his shit together. The adventure-seeking outsider this time around is real-life British journalist George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), who arrives in late-1930s China as invading Japanese forces plow the land, slaughtering everyone in their way. Read More »

John Woo – Die xue shuang xiong aka The Killer (1989)

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Though John Woo’s lifelong admiration of Sam Peckinpah, Sergio Leone, Martin Scorsese, and Stanley Kubrick are also evident in this stylish actioner, the film is essentially a tribute to Jean-Pierre Melville and his cult thriller Le Samourai. During a restaurant shootout, hitman Jeff (Chow Yun-Fat) accidentally hurts the eyes of a singer (Sally Yeh). Later he meets the girl and discovers that if she does not have a very expensive operation very soon, she will go blind. To get the money for the surgery, Jeff decides to perform one last hit. The cop (Danny Lee), who has been chasing Jeff for a long time, is determined to catch him this time. The film’s number of victims makes The Terminator or Rambo pale in comparison, but its brilliant visual style and bravura direction earned accolades even from non-action fans. Read More »