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!
Following several pictures focusing on the gangster side of crime and it's glamorisation, Hong Kong action supremo John Woo wanted Hard Boiled to be a story about cops, the other side of the fence, and sought to create a Chinese character comparable to the moody, intense yet charismatic Dirty Harry-esque characters portrayed in Hollywood by such luminaries as Clint Eastwood & Steve McQueen. He achieves that neatly in Chow Yun-Fat's indomitable Inspector 'Tequila' Yuen, creating almost instantly in him an action star who deserves to sit on a par with any number of Bullitt's or John McClane's - the tough, intense yet louche centre of an, indeed, hard boiled action spectacular which doubles as a meditation on being a lawman at…
The opening shots of the drink at the jazz club tell you everything you need to know about how fucking awesome this movie is. This is pure, slick acceleration towards greater and greater violence. Hard Boiled is aggressive, cynical, fun as hell, and absurdly cool. The cinematography is routinely amazing, especially the famous long take. John Woo plays with angles and moving shots like Tequila plays with guns. They are both unquestionable masters in their fields. Hard Boiled just fucking oozes cool from every pore, there wasn't a single second I wasn't smiling and being awed by something. Mad Dog is the baddest motherfucker in existence, and still manages to be honorable in the process. There are some silly plot…
Story of world's most badass clarinet player.
Pretty sure John Woo is a sociopath.
A two hour lesson in how not to be a cop. The badass "Tequilla" and his undercover partner succeed in turning an easy gun bust into a bloody battle in which both cops and civilians are killed. But I'm just nitpicking.
Hardboiled by John Woo has a good premise with a somewhat shoddy execution. The characters are likable and believable, but the action is repetitive and exhaustingly unending no matter how well shot it is. Nitpicks like the one above keep me from enjoying the film as much as I should have.
The first time I saw Hard Boiled, back in 1993, I thought it was the greatest action film I'd ever seen.
I've seen a lot more action films in the last 22 years. And it's still the greatest. I guess that means it's the greatest. Well, I'm glad we got that sorted out. But just in case anyone's in any doubt.
Reason 1 - www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bozxgVQ9m0
Reason 2 - www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wYCh5nxyCI
Reason 3 - www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNA-O492aVw
Reason 4 - www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNP45KnEwdk
Reason 5 - www.youtube.com/watch?v=e42BAIWldFg
You want more? OK. Chow Yun-Fat, Tony Leung and Anthony Wong.
You want more? No. Go away.
One of the greatest action movies ever made... if not THE greatest.
You don't believe me? Just watch the finale in the hospital
Philip Kwok plays the best character (Mad Dog) *and* he was the Action Coordinator for one of the most beloved films of all time and now all my professional accomplishments seem pathetic and trivial.
Redefines the term "over the top", but I suppose that's the whole appeal of it all. Or, well, most of the appeal anyway, because it does have likeable characters and pretty good direction by John Woo. If you hated the slow-motion rolls, jumps and falls which were done in an overly dramatic fashion in Woo's other films, like Face/Off, then be prepared: this film has that in spades. It artificially lengthens the running time - which is already quite long for a plot like this film's - and once it hits its third act, there's quite a bit to fast-forward through. Not to say that Woo is a one-trick pony when it comes to filming action, because there are some…
Once you bring fucking babies into the picture, I'm emotionally attached like no other. An interesting plot with interesting characters, this action film is everything an action fan needs. Guns, blood, explosions up the wazoo, cheese music, everything. This film is a great piece of art film as well as action, though. With beautiful and unique cinematography, this film is definitely no ordinary shoot 'em up film.
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 190/768 (25%)…