A retired old west killer sets up a hotel for vagrants and wayward souls called Peace Hotel. When a woman with a gang on her tail attempts to hide there the owner of the hotel must revert to his old ways to protect his hotel.
Set circa 1930, "The King of Killers", a one-man killing machine who, after his wife's murder, has decided to set up the "Peace Hotel", a sanctuary where anyone can stay and be protected from those who want to harm them. Although he has pledged never to kick anyone out of the Peace Hotel, he is put to the test when a penniless female swindler, who is wanted by a vicious gang for murdering their boss, shows up. Now he has to decide whether to risk an all-out war with the gang, or whether to ask her to leave the hotel. Written by
L.H. Wong <email@example.com>
Peace Hotel is a western set in China in the 1930's and is probably best described as a cross between 'A Fistful Of Dollars' and 'The Killer'. Chow Yun-Fat (in his last film in Hong Kong before going to America) plays a retired killer who opens the 'Peace Hotel' where people can hide from their enemies with no questions asked. He teams up with Cecilia Yip with whom he had last starred with in the gripping World War II drama 'Hong Kong 1941' (1984). She plays a confidence trickster who is wanted by a large and dangerous gang that threaten to destroy the refuge to get to her. Both are excellent in this film and have a great on-screen chemistry.
The music by Healthy Poon and Cacine Wong is effective and in a similar vein to the Ennio Morricone score in the spaghetti westerns and the theme song by Alex San (music),Erica Lee (lyricist)and Cass Pang Ling (performer) fully deserved its win at the 1996 Hong Kong Film awards.
Those watching this film expecting highly choreographed gun-play sequences due to the presence of John Woo as executive producer will be disappointed as the action is infrequent and is filmed in a confusing style that probably better represents the confusion of a real fight. Peace Hotel is more character-driven than action orientated anyway and is all the better for it. Written by Chow Yun-Fat and Wai Ka-Fai (who is probably best known for co-directing 'Fulltime Killer' (2001)) there is some great dialogue and more character development than is usual for a film in the genre.
Peace Hotel may not be as good as some of Chow Yun-Fat's earlier work with John Woo, but it makes an attempt to be different and deserves credit for that.
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