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

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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.’

production details
Hong Kong | 110 minutes | 1989

Writer and Director: John Woo

cast
Chow Yun-Fat as Jeff
Danny Lee Sau-Yin as Insp. Li Ying / Little Eagle
Sally Yeh as Jennie
Paul Chu Kong as Sidney Fung
Kenneth Tsang as Sgt. Tsang Yeh
Shing Fui-On as Hay Wong Hoi
Tommy Wong as Teddy Wong Hung
James Ha as Teddy’s man
Ricky Yi Fan-Wai as Frank Chen
Barry Wong as Chief Inspector Tu
Parkman Wong as Inspector Chan
Teddy Yip Wing-Cho as Tony Wong Tung Yuen
Alan Ng Siu-Hung as Sniper

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