The Killer

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Time Out says

The most dementedly elegiac thriller you've ever seen, distilling a lifetime's enthusiasm for American and French film noir, with little Chinese about it apart from the soundtrack and the looks of the three beautiful leads. It started out as a homage to Martin Scorsese and Jean-Pierre Melville, but the limitless arsenal of guns and rocket-launchers appears somehow to have got in the way. Exquisitely-tailored contract killer Jeff (Chow Yun-Fat, Hong Kong's finest actor) accidentally damages the sight of nightclub singer Jennie while blasting a dozen gangsters to kingdom come. He befriends the near-blind girl, and decides to take One Last Job to finance the cornea graft she needs. Meanwhile he is stalked by a misfit cop (Lee), who eventually falls in love with him and winds up fighting alongside him. There are half-a-dozen mega-massacres along the way, plus extraordinary spasms of sentimentality, romance and soul searching. The tone is hysterical from start to finish, but Woo's lush visual stylings and taste for baroque detail give the whole thing an improbably serene air of abstraction.

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Release details

UK release:

1989

Duration:

111 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

John Woo Wu Yusen

Cast:

Kenneth Tsang, Paul Chu, Chu Kong, Sally Yeh, Danny Lee, Chow Yun-Fat, Lam Chung

Music:

Lowell Lo

Production Designer:

Luk Man-Wah

Editor:

Fan Kung-Wing

Cinematography:

Peter Pau, Wong Wing-Hang

Screenwriter:

John Woo

Producer:

Tsui Hark

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