When three close friends escape from Hong Kong to war-time Saigon to start a criminal's life, they all go through a harrowing experience which totally shatters their lives and their friendship forever.
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung,
Mobsters are smuggling guns into Hong Kong. The police orchestrate a raid at a teahouse where an ace detective loses his partner. Meanwhile, the two main gun smugglers are having a war over territory, and a young new gun is enlisted to wipe out informants and overcome barriers to growth. The detective, acting from inside sources, gets closer to the ring leaders and eventually must work with the inside man directly.Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
This was John Woo's last Hong Kong film before going to Hollywood. According to the Dragon Dynasty commentary, it was never meant to be Woo's last film there. It was somewhat successful in Hong Kong but not as successful as Woo's earlier films and it was at this point that the Heroic Bloodshed genre which Woo and a couple of directors were famous for was coming to an end as the Hong Kong audience were more interested in comedies, etc. However, when John had heard that this movie had extreme positive reactions from the American audience (which was rare at the time), that was when he made the decision to go to Hollywood. From there, he made his first American film Hard Target (1993) and continued with Broken Arrow (1996), Face/Off (1997), Mission: Impossible II (2000), Windtalkers (2002), and Paycheck (2003). In 2007, he went back to China to direct his two-part epic period film Red Cliff (2008) and Red Cliff II (2009) and produce and co-direct Reign of Assassins (2010). See more »
Throughout the film, characters fire more bullets than their guns would realistically allow without reloading, John Woo actually explained that he does this on purpose because reloading slows down the action scene. See more »
"Hey!" Chow Yun Fat says, covering a baby's eyes. "X-Rated action!" He's not wrong: Hard Boiled is a film clearly not afraid to embrace its genre's excesses. While most modern action films (Smokin' Aces for one) aspire to some sort of grand intelligence while providing shoot-outs and explosions, this film is a reminder of times when action films suffered no such pretensions.
Crowds of people are gunned down without explanation and the smallest things explode for little or no reason. The bad guys are massively exaggerated cutthroat caricatures and the good guys never miss. Scenes of Fat and Leung running down corridors are inexplicably shot in slow motion. And, for all of these reasons, it is amazing. It's fast, it's exciting, and it never lets up.
Hard Boiled is loud, exciting, and, thanks to quite terrible dubbing and a ludicrous early 90's soundtrack, often unintentionally hilarious. It is a film that places entertainment firmly ahead of plausibility and logic, and is quite frankly awesome for it.
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