Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hard Boiled

Hard Boiled was John Woo's last Chinese movie before is emigration to America and it is also a maddeningly frustrating film. Hailed as a masterpiece in some corners, it is nearly a nonstop shoot 'em up for its entire 126 minute running length. It tells the story of a gung-ho cop trying to take down a gun running ring, who takes up with a wily hitman, who unbeknownst to him is also an officer of the law. Woo is a master of stylized, slow motion violence, and Tony Leung is intriguing as the undercover officer. Still masterpiece is not a word I would use to describe this movie. Influential, maybe but a film can not live on style alone and despite the nonstop action scenes and considerable body count, this is an empty film.