I'm probably alone on this one, but as rich as this film might be in a matter of style and influence, it's so toxically corny I can't even think about it without flinching. The blind singer is the lamest character I've ever seen. I just can't believe that a girl that naive and helpless can exist outside of the puerile mind of a resentful, yet horny manchild.
An absolute masterpiece from John Woo. The greatest synthesis of his preferred themes (outsiders, nobility, redemption, brothers on opposite sides of the law) with that ultra stylish, ultra violent approach to screen action. Drawing on the obvious influences of Peckinpah, Scorsese & Melville, the real innovation was in approaching gun battles with the same stylistic abandon as the sword-fights in old Wuxia films.
WOW! This movie is a thrill-ride from start to finish. The music, the gunfights, the camerawork and mise-en-scene are on point all the way through and constitute this bad-ass 80's look. Although it is at times a bit thick in pathos, it is every piece the gem you heard it should be.
It's a bit heavy on the screeching melodrama and warbling pop ballads for my liking in a shoot-em-up, but John Woo's film has more than enough brilliant shoot-outs to be getting by on. Chow Yun-Fat's marvellous performance in the lead holds it together in its slower moments as well.