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'll probably get 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…
Hard Boiled ends in one of the great action setpieces that so many films--and video games--have tried to emulate. It is a pulpy, expertly shot gunfight between cops and an army of gun runner gangsters. Unlike a film based on pure choreography, like a Jackie Chan film, the movement of actors is more important than the camera's movement. Here, John Woo's camera movements, camera placement, and editing are supreme in his style of action.
That makes this actioned of Chow Yun-fat and Tony Leung (Happy 53rd birthday, Tony!) shooting gangsters such a gleeful joy. This film has less story than The Killer, but I'd be shocked to find out if Woo ever topped this in terms of action direction for the sake of story. I dig Woo's mix of melodrama with gunplay, and I can see a lot of other people digging that as well.
Feeling fresh and new compared to the action we're used to, Hard Boiled is a non stop bullet fest that is definitely one of the best action movies ever.
The babies are fine.
I hate to say it (especially after just two films), but I really don't think John Woo is for me.
Hard Boiled is a textbook example of a film that I respect (to a certain degree, let's not get carried away), but don't exactly "like"...if that makes any sense. It might just be Hong Kong action cinema in general, as I've had similar run-ins before with things like Infernal Affairs and Drug War, but there's something about the contrivances and complications of an undercover cop story mixed with the uber-indulgent sensibilities of Woo's direction that just turns me off.
To give it due credit, for what the film is aspiring to be, it's rather good. Bombastic action, cool guys and…
I think I legitimately got a boner watching Chow Yun-Fat's Tequila character riding down a banister and shooting people with dual handguns.
May just be one of the best action films of all time.
Tiroteos de vint minuts.
Adventures in the DVD Wallet #17
True story: the first time I ever saw John Woo’s Hard Boiled was at a party where we watched it back-to-back with Peter Jackson’s Dead-Alive. I’m not sure if this double-feature counts as the greatest VHS pairing of all time, but it’s gotta at least be in the top ten.
Where to begin with Hard Boiled? Any attempt to explain the sheer awesomeness of the film makes you sound like a six-year-old on a Mountain Dew-and-Skittles bender: You see, there’s this cop who gets in a shootout in a Starbucks for birds and the cop slides down an handrail and gets some flour on his face and shoots a guy in the head and…
Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung are my spirit animals.
john woo. pistole, colombe, azione e asiatici sconfitti dalla vita che se ne fanno un altra nel crimine. chow yun fat protagonista, il titolo di questo piccolo capolavoro è diventato addirittura un genere.
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 194/776 (25%)