The Killer

Rated R 110 minutes

A lot of claims have been made for this campy bloodbath concerto (1989) by Hong Kong director John Woo, and I must admit that he's even better than Brian De Palma at delivering emotional and visceral excess with staccato relentlessness. The gun-battling hero (Chow Yun-fat) struggles to raise money to restore the sight of a nightclub singer he was responsible for blinding (Sally Yeh); meanwhile, he forms an even more amorous bond with a cop (Danny Lee). The world being celebrated and exercised is essentially a ten-year-old boy's—the loving epithets shared by killer and cop are “Dumbo” and “Mickey Mouse”—which makes it a pity that this will be seen mainly by cynical older folks. But Woo is certainly no slouch when it comes to orchestrating mayhem. In Japanese and Cantonese with subtitles.

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