7.9/10
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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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The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Director: John Woo
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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

A violent Hong Kong action film, this is the story of an assassin, Jeffrey Chow (aka Mickey Mouse) who takes one last job so he can retire and care for his girlfriend Jenny. When his employers betray him, he reluctantly joins forces with Inspector Lee (aka Dumbo), the cop who is pursuing him. Together, the new friends face the final confrontation of the gangsters out to kill them. Written by Jeff Hansen <jmh@umich.edu>

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

Scenes from the Dragon Boat festival were shot months apart, some footage was of the boat races and rest of the footage involving the actors was shot months later. It was planned for the boats to flip over during the chase but the owners refused because they felt it would bring bad luck. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, when the heroes are walking out of the church, John Chow carries a gun in one hand and the briefcase in the other, while Li carries a gun in one hand and holds onto a wound with the other hand. A split second later, we see them from behind, emerging from the church with Chow firing from a gun in each hand and Li firing a shotgun. Then we see them front on again, each holding a single gun. See more »

Quotes

Joe (Cantonese)/Jeffrey (English): I felt someone walk over my grave.
See more »

Alternate Versions

When screened on Film Four in the UK, the ITC ordered them to cut a scene were Chow Yun Fat stabs a man; the rest was left uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hitman (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Once In A Lifetime
Performed by Sally Yeh
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
No Competition
30 June 2003 | by SpikuSee all my reviews

First of all, I am disgusted by some of these reviews. Modern action has been overrun by special effects and stuntmen with death wishes (not that I'm complaining), but one must consider the time and the place. It's not the world of the Matrix or the Human-Cyborg War (or whatever it's called) in the Terminator, it's Hong Kong in the 1980's with counterfeiting, hostile Chinese syndicates. It doesn't have to be a big budget feature to be great. Clerks by Kevin Smith had a minute budget, but it made Smith famous.

I digress. Woo creates a sensitive and emotionally complex... assassin. To make him reconsider his job as a professional killing machine Jeffrey, the killer, blinds a lounge singer, Jenny. He swears to himself that he will end his career after one last job. Woo introduces us to the concept, like you see in A Better Tomorrow, that you can never leave a Triad even if you try your hardest. With an hour of attempting, Jeff realizes the horrible truth. Rarely does Woo bring in this feeling of absolute futility in his work. After losing his best friend, Jeff has crossed the Rubicon in his attempts and must end his ties to it by ending his everyone's but his own, excluding Jenny and Inspector Lee. Some people dislike the final shootout, but the doves and the Christian symbology adds a touch that drives religious and heroic bloodshed to the minds of the audience. On a personal note, I love it. The last few seconds depict a man, perhaps Lee, playing a harmonica in front of the church for reasons I don't know.


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