7.8/10
46,337
279 user 104 critic

Hard Boiled (1992)

Lat sau san taam (original title)
Trailer
3:04 | Trailer
A tough-as-nails cop teams up with an undercover agent to shut down a sinister mobster and his crew.

Director:

John Woo

Writers:

John Woo (story), Barry Wong (screenplay)
Reviews
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yun-Fat Chow ... Insp. 'Tequila' Yuen
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Alan (as Tony Leung)
Teresa Mo ... Teresa Chang
Philip Chan ... Supt. Pang
Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok ... Mad Dog (as Kwok Chun-Feng)
Anthony Chau-Sang Wong ... Johnny Wong (as Anthony Wong)
Hoi-San Kwan ... Mr. Hoi (Guest star) (as Kwan Hoi Sang)
Wei Tung ... Foxy (Guest star) (as Tung Wai)
Bowie Lam ... Ah Lung / Benny
Meng Lo ... Lonny (as Johnson Law)
Bobbie Au-Yeung ... Lionheart (as Bobby Au Yeung)
Shui-Ting Ng Shui-Ting Ng ... Ah Chung (as Ng Shui-Tung)
Kong Lau ... Hospital Director
Wai-Sun Lam Wai-Sun Lam ... Hitman 1
Benny Lam Benny Lam ... Hitman 2
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Storyline

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 <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Action-Packed Film of Alltime. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Woo: [motorcycles] motorcycles are heavily used during the big warehouse gunfight. See more »

Goofs

Foxy's life is saved by a metal lighter in his pocket. In real life, a lighter would not stop a bullet whatsoever, much less at point-blank range. See more »

Quotes

Tequila: What are you? It's hard to call you a triad. It's even harder to call you a cop. What rank are you? Sergeant? Inspector? Joker? Should I salute you?
Alan: If you like. To you, I'm a criminal. To my mum, I'm a son. To the triads, I'm a hero.
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Alternate Versions

The Chinese censors requested cuts to the scene where Tequila is graphically shooting thugs in the hospital when he is holding the baby. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shoot 'Em Up (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Hello
Written by Lionel Richie
Sung by Yun-Fat Chow and Teresa Mo
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User Reviews

 
Puts most action movies to shame.
3 December 2007 | by dvc5159See all my reviews

When someone mentions, "action movie", the first thing that gets in their minds is guns, fighting, blood, and so on. The people who they instantly think are the likes of Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Willis, even the hammy Seagal, Snipes and Van Damme! Not until recently, I found myself confused about which action movie is the greatest. For me, the ultimate action hero is Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I cannot seem to find a perfect action movie.

Until I began checking up films of John Woo, and stumbled upon this baby...

Only a handful of action movies can compare to this, but most fail to be better. This movie IS the epitome of an action movie, it has never-ending thrill-a-minute stylish action sequences that just make your jaw drop in amazement. It has a body count that can be compared to most epic movies, and it has an excellent atmosphere to further enhance the story. The action sequences are a combination of outrageous, unreal and cool at the same time.

The story is weak, but not very. It provides the basis for the action to unfold. And boy, when it does, you'll have a blast! I mean, they took the premise of a basic cops and robbers tale and highly jazzed it up somehow to deliver this truly authentic and unique piece of movie making. This is not just a movie which action fans alone should see, this movie deserves to be sought and recognized by other highly-ranked film critics.

The director, John Woo, ups the ante on this one. After glorifying the gangsters in his "Better Tomorrow" movies and "The Killer" (which almost is as good as Hard Boiled), he decides to glorify the cops, and he does that, but with bigger elements. He doesn't show realism and humanism in this film, because he wanted to emphasize and slightly exaggerate on how big the elements can go. The criminals would kill lots of innocent people to complete their nefarious deeds, and the violence is hyper-stylized to the point where it becomes necessary to subdue the criminals using that technique. He combines unique Chinese Opera dancing techniques and dramatic shootouts to create stylistically significant and exhilarating gunfights for the eyes and ears to behold. The pace is hyper kinetic as Woo relentlessly dishes out whatever tricks he has up his sleeve, much to our delight.

Chow Yun-Fat's status as an action hero is immortalized here in his performance as super cop Tequila, who dodges bullets and shoot crooks while cooing a baby to sleep and covering his eyes from the ensuing violence. This scene also signifies the violence in Hong Kong back in the days, but highly stylized to create a superb action experience. Tony Leung is also splendid as the disillusioned undercover cop, who seeks to regain his humanity and reputation. The rest of the cast gave good performances, with kudos to Anthony Wong as the sadistic villain who will do anything to get what he wants (fully exampled during the film's climax), and Cheng Jue-Luh as one of the most badassed villains ever, Mad Dog.

The atmosphere of the movie further improves its credibility. John Woo's interests are shown through Tequila's passion of jazz and the beautiful and dark cinematography of Hong Kong, which, when combined together, gives an effect that signifies two different worlds, that is, the life of a cop and the life of a criminal. Also, the music score by Michael Gibbs is great, with a perfect melodramatic jazz score during dramatic scenes, and to pumping synthesizers, gritty and haunting scores during the majority of the action sequences. All of these add up to the amazing elements of the movie to make it even better.

Overall, I cannot think of any other action movie than this. This is THE action movie for film-goers, critics, and action junkies alike. This perfectly shot ballet of blood and bullets is an example of how great and reliable Asian movies can be, when we are finally tired of cliché elements from Hollywood. Mr. Woo, Your Midas Touch has its full effect here. This movie is one of the greatest action movies ever made. And I will stand by that decision for as long as I live.

A must see.

9/10

Delton


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese | English

Release Date:

16 April 1992 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Hard Boiled See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong, China

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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