7.8/10
42,498
235 user 83 critic

The Killer (1989)

Dip huet seung hung (original title)
Trailer
1:26 | Trailer

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A disillusioned assassin accepts one last hit in hopes of using his earnings to restore vision to a singer he accidentally blinded, only to be double-crossed by his boss.

Director:

John Woo

Writer:

John Woo
Reviews
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Yun-Fat Chow ... Ah Jong (as Chow Yun Fat)
Danny Lee ... Insp. Li Ying / Little Eagle
Sally Yeh ... Jennie
Kong Chu ... Fung Sei (as Chu Kong)
Kenneth Tsang ... Sgt. Tsang Yeh (as Tsang Kong)
Fui-On Shing ... Wong Hoi (as Shing Fui On)
Wing-Cho Yip ... Wong Dung-Yu
Fan Wei Yee ... Paul Yau
Barry Wong ... Chief Insp. Dou / Tu
Parkman Wong ... Insp. Chan Bok
Alan Ng Alan Ng ... A Killer (as Siu-Hung Ng)
Yamson Domingo Yamson Domingo ... Bodyguard A
Siu Hung Ngan Siu Hung Ngan ... Bodyguard B
Kwong Leung Wong ... Wong Hung
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Storyline

Jeffrey is an assassin who wishes to leave the business so he can take care of Jennie, the beautiful lounge singer who he inadvertently blinded during a previous assignment. Li Ying is the determined cop who will stop at nothing to bring him in, only he realizes that Jeffrey is no ordinary assassin, and wishes to help him in his quest. Only problem is that Jeffrey's employers refuse to pay him for his last job, money which is needed to restore Jennie's eyesight. Written by Vince at unigx.ubc.ca

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This film will blow you away. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese | Mandarin | Japanese

Release Date:

September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Killer See more »

Filming Locations:

The Peak, Hong Kong See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (USA) (2002) (R-rated) | (extended)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Woo wanted 'Sidney's house to be by a beach but a suitable location could not be found. See more »

Goofs

The road sign board pointing to the hospital says "SCARED HEART HOSPITAL". See more »

Quotes

Joe (Cantonese)/Jeffrey (English): I've changed - I don't want to kill.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Out of print Criterion Collection DVD features the following five deleted scenes:
  • The first is a scene where inspector Li is waiting outside the club where Jenny is singing (right after we saw him inside). Jenny is accosted by three drunken business men, and Li comes to her rescue. Obviously, this mirrors the earlier scene where Jeff came to her rescue. It also includes a nice little reveal where we see that Jeff has seen the whole thing. The scene continues with Li taking Jenny back to her apartment, and Li seeing Jeff watching from outside.
  • The second scene occurs right after the shootout at Jeff's apartment. Inspector Li arrives on the scene just as Jeff is leaving.
  • The third scene is Jeff and Jenny driving from the airport and arriving at Sidney's safe house.
  • The fourth deleted scene is Jeff and Jenny having breakfast at the house. Then Sidney arrives.
  • The last deleted scene occurs right after the impromptu surgery by the creek. The Hitman With No Eyes arrives on the scene and finds the bandages.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Machete (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Once In A Lifetime
Performed by Sally Yeh
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The Master of Action shows why action IS art!
1 May 2001 | by Sharkey360See all my reviews

There is no doubt in mind that "The Killer" is easily the MOST ARTISTIC ACTION FLICK in the world. Not only that, it's also the BEST ACTION-DRAMA film around!

Directed by John Woo (now at his popular peak with "M:I-2" as his vehicle), "The Killer" tells the story of a professional killer (Chow Yun-Fat), a cop and a lady caught in crossfire. Chow Yun-Fat's act for his character is very solid, and at the same time he perfectly fits the action sequences.

Also written by John Woo, you can clearly see many of The Master's trademarks like slow-motion action, stunts, deep characterization, drama, doves, two-fisted gunplay, and missing from his Hollywood flick...gore! This movie is full of blood and gore, and from my point of view it does not make the film dirty but rather more realistic and expressive.

About the action, the level of violence is very high like that of the gore. Since this is a Hong Kong-made movie, Woo had all the freedom he wants and it clearly shows why this is considered by his millions of fans as their favorite Woo flick.

Two-fisted gunplay is very well presented here. Seen Tom Cruise (M:I-2), Nicolas Cage (Face/Off), Christian Slater (Broken Arrow), Dolph Lundgren (Blackjack) and John Travolta (Face/Off) all fire with 2 guns each? Well, for newcomers here, two-fisted gunplay has gotten of to a great start even before Woo directed the above-mentioned Hollywood stars. Chow Yun-Fat's 2-gun firing is simply perfect and it shows! Chow is NO MARTIAL ARTIST or STUNTMAN like Jackie Chan, but his use of guns and acting makes him exceed with quality.

Chow Yun-Fat was not even a popular action star before teaming with Woo. But Woo made the difference for him and Chow's image has gotten better since.

John Woo's directing is really perfect. As mentioned above, he had all the creative freedom he wanted with this movie...something missing from his Hollywood films. "The Killer" is considered to be his biggest teamup with Chow.

Woo is known to make non-action stars look great in action...Tom Cruise is a perfect example of this when he made "M:I-2".

Contrary to popular belief among newcomers, "The Killer" is an ART FILM. Those newcomers who've seen "M:I-2" might think that this classic is another "blockbuster" or brainless-action film. Anyone who understands the link between action and art will easily recognize the greatness Woo made here. Eventually, YOU'LL CARE ABOUT THE CHARACTERS AS THE STORY MOVES ON.

That said, the story is not about violence and money. The story presents CHARACTER, EMOTION, SORRY and HONOR. As a viewer, you should not just look at the action scenes, but you should concentrate on the story and characters within.

My conclusion: "The Killer" is a PURE QUALITY MOVIE THAT NEEDS TO BE SEEN BY EVERYONE. Whether you're a casual movie fan, quality viewer, blockbuster lover or whatever type of viewer you are, "The Killer" is film excellence as long as the viewer understands it.

Want the most artistic of action? REMEMBER THE KILLER!


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