Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Killer - Woo Makes the Gun a Viable Substitute for the Sword

Other than Mission: Impossible II, I haven't watched a lot of John Woo films. His story of Ethan Hunt differs from De Palma's and Abrams', but you can't discount the fact it's jam-packed with action. So, if you're looking for another shoot 'em up, watch John Woo's 1989 classic, The Killer.

With guns a blazing, Ah Jong (played by Chow Yun Fat) is a hired assassin working for the Triad. After accidentally blinding a beautiful girl during a hit, Ah Jong wishes to leave his trade and restart a new life with the girl he impaired. However, with the crime boss after his life and the police wanting to put him away, will Ah Jong be able to get away with his earnings and restore his love interest's vision?

If you dig deep, The Killer is filled symbolism, drama, and romance. But as we all know, the reason we're going to watch this film is for the high energy ballistics. A suspension of disbelief is required because the rate at which Chow Yun Fat unloads his rounds, he'll be out of ammo in 2 seconds. But with squibs bursting, glass breaking, and cars chasing, you don't care. It's like watching Beatrix fighting the Crazy 88 but with her sword replaced with firearms (although Chow does get one good knife kill).

As of late, I'm trying to expand my horizons by watching more Asian cinema. Because of Tarantino's interest in exploitation, I've watched a few Kung Fu flicks and heavily enjoyed them. Luckily, the Weinstein Company and Genius Products started a joint venture called Dragon Dynasty to help distribute more of these films to an American audience. I have a few other blu-ray's from this film line and will eventually review them. So if you're interested in what Dragon Dynasty has to offer, check their website at:

Overall, I had a lot of fun with The Killer. And because of it, I will watch more John Woo films like Hard Boiled and his American hit, Face/Off.

So on Death List Five, The Killer ranks #3.

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