Movies that are slightly off.
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.
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…
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…
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…
Holy shit I did not expect to love this film as much as I did.
This film is fucking badass. I thought the shootout scenes were incredible in Heat, but this is unbelievable. It has the perfect amount of cheesey action but is not over the top corney just enough to remind you not to take this film too seriously.
The choreography of this film is so so important, right from the first scene where tequila shoots the gangsters whilst sliding down the stairs I knew it was awesome. Brilliant directing, over the top slow motion, repeated shots, no reloads and a hell of a lot of bullets makes this a must see action film.
I've mentioned before that I'm not much into action films, but after seeing the raid, big trouble in little china and then this, if filmed correctly they can blow you away.
At its (frequent) best, HARD-BOILED plays like DIE HARD on steroids, and its influence has been mighty; its DNA can be found everywhere from DESPERADO to INFERNAL AFFAIRS, SPEED to THE RAID and many, many more. Woo's irresistible style, the film's boundless energy and its world-class stars more than make up for its increasing incoherence.
Insanely high individual body count is the most I can say for Hard Boiled. I'm sure people who enjoy over-the-top action movies would love it. There's a part near the end where a room full of newborn infants gets taken hostage!
Violence and Jazz combined to make this fuckin frantic, nuts movie. The bad guy looks like Martin Shkreli.
Pretty much non-stop action from start to finish. There's some sort of story about cops and bad guys but whatever. The movie is shootout with some dialog in between the next shootout. To me this looks like a Golan Globus action movie if they actually put production values and a coherent story into their efforts. Everything is ridiculously over the top but in a good way. The movie did start to get a bit stale towards the end of the first half. I don't know if my eyes were bleeding from all the action at that point or what but it just started feeling like the movie was a one trick action pony...then the hospital came along. That is one of the best action concepts filmed. There's civilians and goons alike. So while the middle gets a bit blah, this finishes very strong and is easy to see how it's such an influential film.
Wish I was that little blood smeared baby - nothing better than getting kissed by Yun-Fat Chow while simultaneously pissing on his burning leg. <3
1. "Some things in life are out of line."
2. This movie is ridiculous.
3. Chow Yun-Fat
4. "Hard-boiled cop...you made it."
5. One of my formative movie experiences.
Hard Boiled is another masterful action film from John Woo, one of the founding members of shaping modern action. Like The Killer, it stars Chow Yun Fat in an all out action shoot em up extravaganza. While not as The Killer it still becomes pretty close to it's greatness (and it's action is just as grand).
This time out the story involves undercover cops, broken alliances, new alliances, mobsters and saving babies. It's really a 2 hour action piece with a story woven amongst the action. It's a blast to watch and it has aged very well over the last 24 years.
Filled with that John Woo magic that has been lost since he came to America (and subsequently left) we get glorious action, intense slow mo and doves, lots of doves.
Boy was this a fun movie.
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…
favorite Chinese language movies