John Woo's Masterpiece:Action meets Existentional Drama.
James Simpson | USA | 04/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the genuine trendsetters in Action history was this 1989 Action masterpiece from one of the genre's most skilled directors. After building his own "gun-foo" style througout the 80s with the classics,"A Better Tomorrow(1986)" and it's sequel in 1988, Woo hits paydirt here.
Basically retelling to some degree, Jean Pierre Melville's "Le Samourai(1967", Woo adds a high octane sense of action and his ever present theme of male bonding to the mix for one of the decade's classics.
The sweet story about the Hitman's attempts to fix the eyesight of a beautiful singer whom he blinded in a hit, is handled with the appropiate amount of sensitivity.
Chow Yun Fat is one of cinema's great Action heroes, at once both cool and imposing, yet full of humor and sympathy, this is still one of the actor's great performances, not equalled in sheer coolness until Woo's Hong Kong swan song with 1992's "Hard Boiled".
The action scenes are among the most riveting and intense ever filmed, notably the explosive climax. A masterpiece of substained mayhem that nearly reaches the operatic, this is perhaps the best gunfight we've seen since "Bloody" Sam Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch(1969)".
The DVD is presented with both English language and Chinese versions and are UNCUT, however the prints utilized, leave much more to be desired. There is also audio commentary by the man himself, John Woo and Trailers for the film and Hard Boiled.
It's sad that this is out of print, especially considering it's now classic status and the amount of films that it inspired in the States that ARE still annoying us on the big screen. I reccomend that if you really want a good film, skip that Matrix-knock-off and go for this John Woo classic that started it all.
Except no substitutes.