Hard Boiled 1992 ★★★★★

Wow. This film whizzed past me so damned fast I'm having trouble recollecting exactly what went down.
So, it's a cop drama. There's some kind of conflict. There was a saxophone playing and I'm pretty sure at some point somebody got shot.

This film certainly lives up to the hype. A true Action Classic, right up there with Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Chow Yun-Fat is fantastic and at no point comes across like a complete tool. The rest of the cast range from hardcore evil bad-ass to surly cop bad-ass. The action is un-fucking-believable. Honestly, this film may not be so revered in its native land but this is most definitely the precursor to a whole slew of mid 90's actioner's like Hard Target, Face/ Off, Broken Arrow, Mission Impossible 2... and some films not actually directed by John Woo.
These days it's difficult to see past the gun-ballet, slo-mo pigeons and operatic villains but our dear Mr Woo practically moulded those cliches himself with C4, squibs and kicked-in faces.
For some reason I've always held back on this film, worried it wouldn't live up to the hype and expectations. Luckily, I'm a stupid fuckwit with bugger all to worry about.

Going to pull my finger out and get through the Infernal Affairs Trilogy at some point. See if I can get me some more 5 Star entertainment!


  • My old VHS of this is lingering in the attic somewhere. It's awesome isn't it? It's also a classic "man-love between men on opposite sides of the law" storyline that Woo uses in most of his films to great effect. You must watch The Killer if you haven't already, Woo's earlier action-fest with Chow Yun-Fat, which is just as good. Pity that actor's career never really took off in Hollywood.

  • The Killer is the only other Woo film I'd recommend seeing, yes. Loki is quite right. I tried a few others but none lived up to my expectations.

  • Thanks peoples
    That'll go on my watch list.
    Really enjoyed it. Not bad considering I picked it up for £1.50p from a charity shop!

  • The greatest (and most awesome) action film of all time. Period.

    As for more John Woo -- check out The Killer, Bullet in the Head, A Better Tomorrow I and II, and Red Cliff (Parts I and II).

  • Cheers guys. Kinda kicking myself I've not seen much non-American Woo.
    I have Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi sitting beside me for sometime later this week. Shall probably give some more Woo a go next week for sure.
    Bloody brilliant stuff

  • Kitano's Zatoichi is fantastic. You're definitely in for a treat.

  • Anyone know which is the best DVD copy of this film? Some of them seem to have a screwed up soundtrack, others a bad picture.. I hate trying to find a decent copy of rare films on DVD, it's a minefield.

  • I'm pretty sure I own every single DVD release so far, but I have yet to do a comparison myself. But I believe the 2004 Tartan Video (UK) release (the 'Collector's Edition') is the best one yet. It has a good picture, the original soundtrack, and English sub(not dub)titles.

  • I'll have a gander when I'm back home and czech out which version I watched. Great sound but the picture was a bit shit in places.

Please to comment.