Violence as poetry, rendered by a master—brilliant and passionate, 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. More than a cops-and-bad-guys story, Hard Boiled continually startles with its originality and dark humor. —The Criterion Collection
The first Asian filmmaker to helm a major Hollywood feature, John Woo initially emerged as the leading light of the Hong Kong action renaissance of the late ’80s. Celebrated for his unique, much-imitated style: a Molotov cocktail of graceful slow-motion sequences, staccato edits, freeze-frames, and dissolves; Woo brought a new depth of emotion and visual beauty to the action genre, perfecting an operatic, highly stylized brand of mayhem laced with melodrama, savage wit, and homoerotic undercurrents. Woo was born Wu Yu Sen on May 1, 1946, in the Guangzhou Canton Province of China, his parents relocating the family to Hong Kong three years later to escape life under communism. The Woos were quite poor, and were homeless for several years. His father, a philosopher, was later hospitalized with tuberculosis for over a decade. It was his mother who introduced Woo to the cinema, where he fell under the sway of American musicals and the films of the French New Wave, with Jean-Pierre Melville… read more
Whenever I watch a John Woo movie I get the feeling that it could turn into a cigarette ad at any moment, and yet that quality is what makes him so awesome. Nothing like over the top melodramatic balls to the wall action. Is there any set piece more manly and exciting than the hospital shoot out? Woo's movies expose Michael Bay for the fraud he is. This is real testosterone driven action.
John Woo is the greatest action director of all time and Hard Boiled is the ultimate John Woo movie. All his early Hong Kong films: Bullet in the Head, The Killer, A Better Tomorrow, etc. feature these… read review
There is no subtlety whatsoever to John Woo’s “Hard Boiled” the follow-up to his action melodrama “The Killer.” “Hard Boiled” strips away much of the previous film’s labored sentiment and replaces… read review
John Woo’s last film in Hong Kong is also his most dazzaling. The beautifully crafted gun fights not only provide extreme amounts of raw action but also a deeper look into behavior and gives feeling… read review