The Killer

  • Film
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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.

Release details

Duration: 111 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Woo Wu Yusen
Screenwriter: John Woo
Cast: Chow Yun-Fat
Danny Lee
Sally Yeh
Chu Kong
Paul Chu
Kenneth Tsang
Lam Chung
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