Dip Huet Seung Hung
1989 / 111m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
The Killer poster


January 03, 2004


April 29, 2022


The Killer is no doubt one of John Woo's most iconic films. It's the poster child of his bullet ballet aesthetic and the heroic bloodshed niche. The first time I'd watched the film, I did love it quite a bit, but the balance between impressive action and somewhat cheesy drama was already a small issue. Rewatching it now, that certainly hasn't improved.

Jeff is a contract killer with a conscience. He wants to get out of the job, but during his last hit, a nightclub singer is accidentally injured by his doing. She loses her sight, Jeff feels responsible for her and wants to help out. To pay for a corona transplant, he decides to take on one final job.

Fat is solid, and the action scenes are still a hoot. It's just that everything that surround it is not that great. The other actors lack charisma, the soundtrack is pretty dim, and the overzealous drama really gets in the way of the action. Woo would further improve his formula, and a film like Hard-Boiled still stands proud today. The Killer, on the other hand, has inevitably lost some of its original shine.