Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Film Review: Hard Boiled (1992)

Hard Boiled (Review)
China/1992
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...action paradise."

Inspector "Tequila" Yuen (Chow Yun-Fat) teams up with an undercover cop playing the mob's highest-ranking assassin to capture a common enemy.

Hard Boiled has a fairly simple story. Tequila is a hard-boiled cop that goes against the rules to get the job done. When one of his partners dies during a shootout with a small army of gangsters, Tequila begins to track the head of the mob and runs into a newly familiar face. From there on, Tequila teams up with the undercover cop to take down a rich, gun-smuggling triad boss. Of course, there are some tense betrayals and tests of loyalty, as well. The ending is explosive and well-executed, much like the rest of the film.

Hard Boiled is more reliant on its action than story. First, the story is interesting and well-done. It has cheesy dialogue and encounters, but I felt that added to the charm and style of the film. The action sequences are all shootouts. Everything explodes in a sense in this film: bird cages, tables, chairs, doors, and so on. There are some many particles on screen, it's amazing. Aside from that, there are plenty of actual explosions, especially towards the end. I really like the shootouts in the film because they're thrilling and creative; there are many stunts implemented into the shootouts, like jumping through windows, surfing on carts while shooting, or gliding forward or back through the air while shooting, and so on -- it's simply spectacular.

Chow Yun-Fat is great as the lead with plenty of charisma to pull off the cocky supercop. Tony Leung Chiu-Wai is also great as Chow Yun-Fat's counterpart adding some character to their relationship. John Woo standout with his superb direction, especially for the many shootouts; every action scene has so much detail and consistency, and the execution is flawless. I like the set design, especially when they're blown up by gun fire -- everything looks fantastic. The music is also well-fitted and I liked it all, especially the use of jazz.

Overall, Hard Boiled is action paradise. Every other scene is filled with creative action sequences and daring stunts, the final act, in fact, is pure action. Hard Boiled is arguably one of the greatest action films of all time; and, I feel it deserves more credit, especially considering most action films nowadays are filled with computer effects.

Score: 10/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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