John Woo, before set sailing for Hollywood, bid farewell to the Hong Kong film industry with Hard Boiled – often referred to by the aficionados of the director’s works as THE action movie. The male bonding between a hot-headed trigger-happy cop and a cold and seemingly corrupt undercover agent is what makes this movie special. The stylized action sequences and kinetic editing style, too, are vintage John Woo stuff. But where the movie is immensely entertaining to watch, it never manages to reach levels that would imprint the movie to one’s mind. The chemistry between Chow Yan-Fat and Tony Leung, as the two diametrically different anti-heroes, is amazing. But where the first two acts are memorable for the slow and evocative buildup punctuated with spectacular sequences, the last act, on hindsight, seems a botched-up attempt to an explosive climax. Thus, this movie would be remembered more as Woo’s nostalgic tribute to, and guilty pleasure of lovers of HK action flicks, than as a standalone work of high merit.
Director: John Woo Genre: Action/Buddy Film/Police Movie Language: Chinese Country: China (Hong Kong)