unlike some of the commenters, it's not clear to me that this is weaker than hard boiled. the plot and dialogue were poetic, layered and metaphorical and i found the recurring motif of child's play to be especially moving. i also liked the play with color - whites and blacks, good and evil, uniformed officer and gangster, their transmutations, the staining of red blood making such differences hard to discern anyway.
Beneath highly influential crime film lies a personal story of guilt and redemption that manages to shake the point of view on morality and law. Thanks to the marvelous soundtrack, there's no moment that is wasted - whether it's trying to build a tension, create an atmosphere of metropolitan jungle or unleash bare emotion in all its honesty and sadness. And that takes great performances to be fully experienced.
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.
La trama procede benissimo con trovate narrative buone che portano al buon finale dalle tinte amare. I personaggi sono persone disperate che non riescono ad uscire dalla criminalità. Ritmo ottimo e ottima cura nelle scene d'azione, che risultano sempre di qualità. i personaggi sono caratterizzati benissimo e hanno un forte carisma. La qualità registica è palese e, mischiando noir e azione, dà vita ad una perla rara.
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.