A unique and absurd piece of Chow Yun Fat's early career.
'Hard Boiled Killers' is not to be mistaken for the later-made Woo film 'Hard Boiled'. A film 'Hard Boiled Killers' is direly hoping to be mistaken for. I reiterate, *DO NOT* mistake this film for Woo's work, regardless of the multiple references made to him on the slip cover. The director of this film is not Woo and the film does not in any way resemble a Woo film aside from the police theme and the clever re-title. 'Hard Boiled Killers' is an off beat comedy surrounding the life of a rookie cop (Chow Yun Fat) and his early years on the crooked British run Hong Kong Police force. It involves a lot of schtick, potty humor, sex jokes, an indescribably rank vomit filled pale, and many other bits you'd associate with a Chinese comedy targeted towards an adult audiences. At times it heralds a humorous response. After all who expects the knife wielding female assassin to scrap the epitaph: 'F__K YOU' (in english of all things) on a wall of cardboard in a failed attempt to dismember the hero. At other times one will instead scratch their head, both out of confusion at what's occurring and at what's being said in the small amateurish subtitles, which seemed to be ripped straight from the HK theater release. This meaning nothing less than a 30 inch screen and brand new print will be required to make sense of many of the small fuzzy english subtitles that plague the film. The whole thing reeks of the cartoon style one might see in an 80's Chan film sans the clever stunts and kung fu. The title, as earlier implied, is an atrocious print. This is however not something peculiar to hardened HK cinemaphiles and can be easily overlooked by the hardcore enthusiast. The content is good for cheap some laughter and some finger pointing. Chow goes into a brothel and mistakenly slaps around an undercover cop posing as a hooker hoping to get a confession. Chow zealously deals out parking tickets to prominent crime figures. Chow reaches into a puke filled bucket to retrieve his gun after a brutal one sided fight with half a dozen Triad. Chow does a lot of things, and some of them are funny. However, reasons you will most likely detest this work include the following: -Seemingly nobody dies. Anytime it looks as if they might, they merely climb back to their feet and do a "look at the pretty birdies" take. -Guns are so under exploited in the film one shouldn't even expect to see a shoot out. As I recall Fat does not discharge a weapon till the final scene in a schtick duel with three assassins. -Men with their genitals connected to a car battery while seated firmly on a block of ice might arise a chuckle, but they also set the tone for a lot of jokes that are just a head shake and a groan. -Your personal 20 inch RCA TV/VCR combo will require you to sit three inches away from the screen squinting to make out what's being said. That is if you bother to read it at all. -You'll miss the kung fu and stylish stunt work that makes Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and The Five Lucky Stars early work so entertaining if not a bit on the camp side (part of the beauty, no?). In commence, this film is a unique example of the absurd earlier projects Chow Yun Fat toiled before truly igniting as a success both at home and worldwide. If you enjoy 80's HK camp this might be up your alley provided you've seen most of the other stuff at the local video store. If you like Chow Yun Fat, well.. it's got Chow Yun Fat. If you happen to be a Woo fan, you've obviously picked up the wrong flick, you want 'Hard Boiled' which is probably miscategorized somewhere in action/foreign/martial arts.
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