Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Dip huet seung hung
Hong Kong, 1989. Film Workshop, Golden Princess Film Production Limited, Long Shong Pictures, Magnum Films, Media Asia Group. Screenplay by John Woo. Cinematography by Peter Pau, Wing-hang Wong. Produced by Hark Tsui. Music by Lowell Lo. Production Design by Man-Wah Luk. Costume Design by Shirley Chan. Film Editing by Kung-Wing Fan. Podcast: My Criterions. Toronto International Film Festival 1989.
A contract killer (Yun-Fat Chow) decides to do one last assignment before retiring from the job, but the shooting of an important crime lord ends up maiming an innocent waitress and blinding her for life. In order to pay for the operation that will save the woman’s sight, the killer decides to do one more job and give the money to her, but of course it ends up being the most complicated hit of his life. Leaving himself wide open by encouraging the relationship with this young woman, our assassin is also being thrown one way or the other by dubiously loyal friends who are never what they at first seem to be. John Woo made a name for himself in the western world with this film and Hard-Boiled, two excellent action films that feature strong, convoluted storylines and endlessly enjoyable, skillfully edited scenes of brutal violence. The Killer‘s rampant bloodshed might be a bit off-putting for the sensitive viewer, but those who love a good action flick will be rewarded with a rich narrative and a fantastic lead character; Chow can hardly twich an eyebrow without putting across more philosophical subtext than every Hollywood hero of violent cinema combined.