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Killer, The - Dragon Dynasty Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
Written by Chris Mayo   
Friday, 04 June 2010
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HTML clipboardAKA: Dip huet seung hung, Blast Killer, Bloodshed of Two Heroes, Die xue shuang xiong, El asesino, Epangelmatias dolofonos, The Killer - O Matador
Directed by:
John Woo
Written by: John Woo
Produced by: Tsui Hark
Cinematography by: Peter Pao, Wong Wing Hang
Editing by: Fan Kung Ming
Music by: Lowell Lo
Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh
Year: 1989
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Color: Color
Runtime: 1 h 46 min
Distributor: Alliance Films
Studio: Dragon Dynasty

The action films of John Woo have put Chow Yun-Fat on the map as Hong Kong's answer to Charles Bronson.  First came A Better Tomorrow and it's subsequent sequel.  Now we take a look at arguably John Woo's and Chow Yun-Fat's best action efforts in The Killer.

After blinding Jenny (Sally Yeh), an innocent woman caught in the crossfire of an assassination attempt, Ah Jong (Chow Yun-Fat) decides to retire.  However, before he can retire he takes on one last hit.  This final foray is for the big pay day he needs allowing him to pay for Jenny's corrective eye surgery.  For this hit he must kill Wong Dung-Yu (Wing-Cho Yip), involved with drug lords in Central and South America.  When Ah Jong's final hit comes to fruition, his identity becomes compromised.  The people who have hired him, want him dead, as well as hard-headed police Inspector Li Ying (Danny Lee).  What follows is Yun-Fat kicking ass in a non-stop action-packed bullet ballet.

If you're a fan of action films, from the likes of Charles Bronson, with the action kicked to a heightened level then that's what to expect with John Woo's The Killer.  There are so many exploding squibs and sensational shootouts crammed in the film's 106-minute runtime to satisfy any fan of international action films.

The strange thing about The Killer is the film's choice of comedic nicknames it places on Yun-Fat's and Lee's characters.  Lee's character refers to Yun-Fat's as "Shrimp Head" and Yun-Fat's refers to Lee's as "Small B."  What makes this even stranger is the English dubbing for the film.  The English dubbing is ENTIRELY different than the Cantonese track.  When I say entirely different, I mean it.  In the English track the character's nicknames are even changed -- to Disney characters no doubt!  Shrimp Head is changed to Mickey Mouse and Small B to Dumbo.  Truly oddball shit.

Aside from a few minor quips such as some of the goofiness previously mentioned, The Killer is a concrete Hong Kong action film.  If there is one thing The Killer shows, it's not to fuck with the Triad -- but most importantly not to fuck with Chow Yun-Fat!

Alliance in association with Vivendi and Dragon Dynasty release The Killer in a Two-Disc Ultimate Edition DVD.  The video is presented 1.85:1 (anamorphic) and while showing its age (1989) looks great.  The audio is presented with the option of Cantonese and English mono which does sound somewhat hollow due to being mono.  I always prefer the film's original language, but for two completely different viewing experiences watch the film in both Cantonese with English subtitles and then the English dub.  Disc Two of The Killer contains the supplemental material.  To begin, there is a 'Deleted Scenes' section containing 5 scenes.  'Interview Gallery' contains an interview with John Woo as well as an 'American Cinematheque' questions and answers about The Killer and Hard Boiled which was conducted in 2002.  Rounding out the extras is an original theatrical trailer and UK promo trailer for The Killer as well as trailers for Last Hurrah For Chivalry, A Better Tomorrow and Hard Boiled.

The Killer and Hard Boiled are available in a Value Pack DVD Set from Alliance Films.


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 Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 16.9 Anamorphic
 Region: NTSC 1
Cantonese, English Mono

 - Deleted Scenes
 - Interview with John Woo
 - Q & As with John Woo
 - Trailers

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