Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Killer

Of the films John Woo made before leaving for Hollywood, people usually mention Hard Boiled and The Killer. After recently viewing Hard Boiled and being disappointed, I approached The Killer with skepticism. However, it turned out to be superior to the other Hong Kong based cop/criminal film and actually a worthwhile movie experience. The Killer also stars Chow Yun-Fat as a contract killer, living by a code and trying to get out of the profession, who has just blinded a singer he admires during his latest hit. In order to pay for her corrective surgery, he takes out one last hit but circumstances lead to him being chased by The Triads, a dangerous Chinese gang, and a persistent, young cop who has recently lost his partner in the line of duty. The Killer is over-the-top as all of Woo’s films are but the action scenes are handled with great style here. The cinematography is also fine, containing some fine scenic shots and not just resorting to the sleazy metropolitan shots that Hard Boiled employed. The character development was handled nicely, and although the final shootout goes on longer than it should, The Killer proves to be a worthy cinematic experience.