Killer, The (1989 with Chow Yun-Fat and Danny Lee)

Hong Kong / 1989

Director: John Woo

Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh, Chu Kong, Ken Tsang

John Woo calls upon Hong Kong’s finest actor, Chow Yun-Fat, to head up this thriller as the contract killer stricken by guilt when he accidentally blinds a nightclub singer (Sally Yeh) in the course of a hit. Determined to restore her sight, he takes on one last job and is improbably joined by cop Danny Lee, who moves from stalking him to helping him.

Time Out called it “The most dementedly elegiac thriller you’ve ever seen,” while CineBooks’ Motion Picture Guide Review said “The Killer rings a genuinely delirious set of changes on American movie themes, careening between brutality and mawkish sentiment without missing a beat and daring viewers to laugh. Its basic dynamics derive directly from the American archetypes: a killer reformed by the love of a good woman, the outlaw buddies united by a code of ethics that makes them anachronisms in a changing world, the cop and the criminal who have more in common than they think.”

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