For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
As A Cop, He Has Brains, Brawn, And An Instinct To Kill
John Woo’s Hard Boiled tells the story of jaded detective “Tequila” Yuen (played with controlled fury by Chow Yun-fat). Woo’s dizzying odyssey through the world of Hong Kong Triads, undercover agents, and frenzied police raids culminates unforgettably in the breathless hospital sequence.
The Rouge Cop and the Undercover Cop up against some gangster motherfuckers in John Woo's blueprint on how to make the motherfucker of all motherfuckin' action movies. The Jazz Club. The paperboy. The fuckin' birds at the teahouse. The first time Tequila shoots 2 guns at once. Automatic fuckin' weapons. Staircase ownage. Tequila's toothpick. White as a ghost. A chat with JW. High-tech computers. The last book your fuckin' ass will ever read. Pretty-pretty-oh-so-fuckin'-pretty flowers. Never trust an icky eel. Anthony Wong's hair. Fishin'. The impossible question: Who's a badder badass motherfucker; Mad Dog from Hard Boiled or Mad Dog from The Raid? Motorcycle madness. A grand fuckin' entrance. A Zippo. Paper cranes. Fun on a boat. Fuckin' Foxy. Mad…
An absolutely ballistic, no-holds-barred, over-the-top yet purely unadulterated action extravaganza to come out from Hong Kong during the the early 90s, Hard Boiled takes action in cinema to a whole new level with its heart-pounding & jaw-dropping sequences and cements John Woo's reputation as the most influential director when it comes to action filmmaking.
The story of Hard Boiled concerns two ace cops; one is a tough-as-nails detective in his department while the other one is working as an undercover agent & has risen sharply in the underworld over the years. The plot covers their initial friction with each other followed by a mutual partnership as the two eventually team up to take down & wipe out Hong Kong's most ruthless mobster & his…
If you read the script of Hard Boiled, you will probably be disappointed as it might sound like a complete action turd, but seeing John Woo giving life to his own screenplay is like a religious experience, it's as if Mr. God had created him specifically to create his own action movies.
This is a film that shows how good John Woo was in his own golden age - before he decided to create films only to increase his bank account -, when he was able to turn average melodramatic stories into purely 'artistic works', when his mediocre fatalist storylines did not interfere with the shootings, when the stylized violence was always at the service of the story itself.
Film #24 of Project 90
”Birthdays aren't important when you don't have a real identity.”
Action. No child play. No CGI. Pure, classic and true action. That’s what you’ll find in John Woo’s Hard Boiled. Add the glamorous look of neon lights, the craziness of Hong Kong mafia and the incredible power of jazz to the perfectly choreographed action scenes and then you’ll have a film which will push your adrenaline glands to the limits. John Woo is a master when it comes to creating poetic and aesthetically wonderful action scenes, just look at the way characters are moving around, the way camera follows them, the way bullets rip through the air, the way they ruin everything and most importantly…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Just diggin my WOO-hoo bullet spray ballet! You definitely get more BANG for your bucks with this Hardcore Thriller! I do believe the amount of ammo used in this film was enough to supply an entire army for a full-scale war!
Especially touched by the coochie coo moment with the baby! And when he said "You saved the day you little Piss-Pot I swear I was so taken aback by it you could of knocked me over with a feather! One arm cradling the baby the other shooting it out with the bad guys!
Two of my favorite stars Yun-Fat Chow and Anthony Wong were not only brilliant in this film they were so young!
From the opening scene of the rain covered, neon lit streets of the city, superimposed over Chow Yun-Fat sweating, drinking a slammer and playing clarinet in a dark jazz club, we can see that this film matches its title perfectly. This is a Hard-Boiled police story in the grand tradition of Harry Callaghan, Popeye Doyle and Frank Bullitt. Everything is black and white, the hero does what needs to be done to save the day and the brass at City Hall don't like it they can swivel. In fact Chow Yun-Fat's character, Tequila Yuen, seems to contain every cop cliché there is: matchstick chewing renegade cop, putting himself in the mind of the killer, eating around dead bodies. That's okay…
Asian Movie Challenge # 7
Dang! Hong Kong movies are so different than American action movies, but this film is really badass in so many ways.
First, the action in this film really set the tone of the film and I was in we about it since it was different. The reason why I felt this way is because this movie takes a creative spin when it comes to the action. For example, the action sequence in the beginning is just so out there, that it make me hooked to the action sequences, while setting the tone that this movie is going to be a tense and suspenseful ride, since you are wondering how the action sequences will play out…
Film 4 of 13 in 24 Hours of Ownage
Far more polished than The Killer. That tracking shot during the hospital shootout was truly incredible shit. Goofy music. Top notch action choreography. Once again, it's about damn time I saw this thing.
John Woo, romantic expressionist.
Perfection, through and through. Not sure what to say other than I love how the opening scene is structured. It's chaotic, but unlike the rest of the film, the spatial relationships are much more unclear. It's way harder to tell where people are in that opening haze of bullets and powder. It sets the stage perfectly, throwing us into the chaos of battle and then, throughout the rest of the film, guiding us through it with perfect spatial relationships and perfect direction.
So here's the thing, seeing this now is lot different than seeing when I was a teenager. This film is wild reckless The entire third act is one of the craziest things I have ever seen put on a film. John Woo is out of his mind.
This is just a fucking animal of an action film !!! It's superb in everything. Just incredible... Action film bible. Remarkable...
Tony Leung is so damn good
Hard Boiled is one of the most popular films by director John Woo and until 2008's Red Cliff it was the last one he made in his native China with an all Chinese cast. At this point in time, big budget Hollywood Action films were trying to mimic the "Bullet Time" style of John Woo's films, so it made sense that they brought the very man himself to Hollywood to start bringing his magic to the US box office. Some people say that John Woo sold out, but he always had a big love for American cinema. But many will agree that in his Hollywood era he never quite made a film as good as some of his Chinese works.…
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)