Nisid Hajari
December 11, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Killer

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Danny Lee, Chow Yun-Fat
director
John Woo
author
John Woo
genre
ActionAdventure, Foreign Language

We gave it an A

Calling the films of Hong Kong director John Woo shoot-’em-ups doesn’t do justice to their cuckoo genius — the ability to make live-action violence so over-the-top, ridiculous, and cartoonish that the audience can’t take it seriously. In this recent Woo camp classic, soulful hit man Jeffrey (Chow Yun-Fat) accidentally blinds a beautiful lounge singer (Sally Yeh) during a shoot-out and accepts one last job in order to pay for her surgery. His nemesis, a hard-bitten Dirty Harry wannabe (Danny Lee), grows to admire the freedom of his suave, unflappable prey, and the duo (who call each other Mickey Mouse and Dumbo) approach something like love amid an impossibly extravagant hail of bullets. Whether intended or not, The Killer‘s hyperbolic take on each and every buddy-flick cliché comes across as self-aware spoofing of a classic Hollywood genre. Even though an American remake is now in the works, this particular bulletfest needs no translation. A

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