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The Killer
The Killer
Actors: John Woo, Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kong Chu
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2000     1hr 51min

This 1989 rouser is apocalyptic pulp--the bloodiest, showiest, most shamelessly sentimental specimen of Hong Kong's gangster melodramas. A torch singer named Jennie (Sally Yeh) is accidentally blinded during a slaying in a...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: John Woo, Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Kong Chu
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Hong Kong Action, Chow Yun-Fat, John Woo, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Fox Lorber
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
DVD Release Date: 10/03/2000
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 1hr 51min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Subtitles: English
See Also:

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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 5/24/2022...
A must see John Woo directed action flick with Yun-Fat Chow and Danny Lee shining bright!

Movie Reviews

A. Stokes | MN | 08/24/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Warning, this is a seriously BUTCHERED version of the film. Disny, in all of it's wisdom, has decided to cut over 6 minutes of the film. Do yourself a favor and get ahold of the fox lorber/winstar release, orif you've got the cash, pick up the criterion edition."
Bootlegs Hunter | 07/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

Due to the great success of The Criterion Collection some of the DVDs have been copied and are being produced illegally, especially be aware of fake OUT-OF-PRINT titles. Must know "Red Flags":

1. If the price is drastically LOW. Be cautious if the DVD price is significantly LOWER THAN the MSRP (retail price).
2. If an out-of-print DVD has a low "Buy It Now" price. Out-of-print DVDs are no longer being produced and TEND TO BE WORTH MORE THAN THOSE STILL IN CIRCULATION.
3. When purchasing from Asia, look to see if the DVD cover has any Asian characters on it. There have been multiple bootlegs made with this slight difference on the DVD cover. Oftentimes, bootlegs will be advertised as "official Asian Criterion DVDs". This is NOT TO BE TRUSTED! Criterion Collection has never released alternate Asian Editions of any of their DVDs and they have no plans to do so!
4. Kindly ask Seller(s) for photos of the discs, cover arts, inserts, booklets including UPC number, ISBN number, Cat.No.
5. Contact Criterion Collection via their website to verify all information seller(s) have provided before making your final decision to purchase the item you are interested in!
6. After all, the seller(s) might admit that it is a bootleg or copy. Sadly, some sellers do try and make money off of these."
Best...action movie...ever!
Wheelchair Assassin | The Great Concavity | 05/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Filled with grit, emotion, and psychological depth, not to mention lots and lots of blood, "The Killer" is the kind of passion play that is seen all too rarely in any style of film, let alone the action genre. In fact, John Woo's Hong Kong shoot-'em-up masterpiece resembles nothing so much as Shakespeare with thousands of bullets flying around. In this case the role of the tragic hero is assumed by Jeffrey, played in career-defining fashion by Chow Yun-Fat. Jeffrey is an amiable enough sort, who also just happens to be a fearless, unstoppable assassin with a steely glare and a deadly accurate shot. But when he accidentally blinds a lovely torch singer named Jenny while mowing down about a dozen criminals in a crowded bar, Jeffrey finds some new meaning in his life by assuming responsibility for the woman, even going so far as to try to get her a vision-restoring cornea transplant. However, everything is far from hunky-dory for Jeffrey and his ward: after committing one last job to get the money for Jenny's operation, Jeffrey finds himself pursued by a small army of thugs as well as Chang and Li, two relentless detectives. Oh, and his best friend and associate Sidney has (temporarily) betrayed him. With all that's going on, the stage is set for a struggle on an operatic scale, with Chow giving his character just the right mix of warmth and gravity.

As one would expect from a film directed by Woo, with Chow in the starring role, "The Killer" contains more than its fair share of shootouts and chase scenes, all filmed with Woo's signature frenetic visual style. However, it's what happens when the movie slows down that sets it apart from the pack. "The Killer" is as much a drama as it is an action yarn, and it's a mighty good drama at that. There are a bunch of scenes here that got my adrenaline flowing, but even more impressive, it's mixed with the kind of legitimately moving scenes that are almost impossible to find in Hollywood movies. Behind the constant action is an often-moving tale of devotion, honor, redemption, and friendship in the unlikely setting of the criminal underworld. The lines between good and bad, right and wrong, cop and criminal, are all blurred in a haze of moral ambiguity and divided loyalties. While Jeffrey and Sidney attempt to restore trust after Sidney's betrayal, an unlikely bond forms between Jeffrey and Li as the detective and the assassin realize they're not that different after all.

As the story unfolds, building toward the inevitable confrontation, the tension and the emotional stakes only rise along with the body count. Woo manages to elevate the crime drama to poetry, whether during a taut action sequence or a subdued conversation scene. The movie's deservedly legendary finale, involving a crazed gun battle inside a church, is the only appropriate conclusion. The viewer certainly needs some catharsis after such a harrowing journey, and Woo more than delivers the goods. "The Killer" is one of the few movies of its ilk that can legitimately be called art."