A film about betrayals, brotherhood, missed opportunities & the corruption of the modern world. While Woo's film is celebrated for redefining the style & even the language of the "modern" action cinema, it's also a work of great sadness & pathos. The sensitivity shown to its central characters & the calibre of its performances both enriching & deepening our emotional connection to those scenes of balletic gunplay.
A great action movie, and although based on a small sampling, this is my favorite that I have seen from John Woo so far. Crazy action shootouts meeting sometimes over-the-top melodrama, but the combination is well-executed.
This is probably one of the most homoerotic films I have ever seen. While I love bombast, Woo takes it maybe just a bit too far here, but what fun it is! Oh man! Those choreographed shoot outs, and the crazy cinematography and the music! Plus this film has a heart; Woo takes an opportunity to meditate on honor and family and that's what makes it work.
Raw, gritty, and much like Woo's other landmark films, ahead of its time. While not as kinetic or polished as something like Hard Boiled, it's filled with impressive action sequences, and a great performance by Chow Yun Fat. Sure, the characters and the story get silly and two-dimensional but like many great action films, it may not be a smart movie, but it's very smartly made.
Not quite the perfection of Hard Boiled & The Killer, this early Woo film not only has many of his trademarks but plenty of homages to Melville. While the look at brotherhood & the consequences of violence is examined very well, the standout shootout in the restaurant is etched into my mind.
The film that started all, next to The Killer, Hard Boiled and Bullet in the Head it certainly falls in the lower scale of Woo's filmography. You can see what it created, but the man certainly did even better things after that. Still, it's historical importance in action cinema can't be denied.
The first of the heroic bloodshed stream of Hong Kong cinema, spearheaded by director John Woo while perhaps not as successfully executed as some of the later films of this period, it still manages to pack a serious punch. Woo's keen visual style and unique framing are present as well as the hard-bodied criminals, cinematic references and melodramatic gun battles. Killer (pun intended).
Proves technique can always be or feel passe, as storytelling is the one thing that resists aging. And here... the story isn't good, as the South Korean 2010 remake improved on the original in style and by darkening and intensifying the melodrama. While 1986 certainly laid the groundwork for action cinema, it isn't as dynamic and awe-inspiring 30+ years later due to films that have transcended this dated formula.