"John Woo is..."
A trailer cut together with that press quote sums up the madness that is Hard Boiled, a crime thriller described as "gob smacking mayhem". They're not kidding. After setting the stage with action greats such as A Better Tomorrow and The Killer, John Woo returned to the heroic bloodshed genre to create his magnum opus. It would be the perfect distillation of everything that had come before, showcasing his fascination with meticulously staged gun battles and brotherhood themed stories one more time, while giving the forces of law and order a chance to be the heroes. Bringing together Chow Yun Fat from those previous movies and Tony Leung from his Vietnam war drama Bullet In The Head, this isn't as dark and melodramatic as anything that he'd directed earlier, but instead ends up as a comic book style action adventure with some cop movie dressings.
Though the influences of Le Samourai are again on show through with another lone outsider, the story has a far more pulpy feel to it. Leung takes on Chow Yun Fat's detective 'Tequila' in a battle of charisma. Anthony Wong's ruthless arms dealer chews the scenery and orders around an eye patching wearing henchman. Several thousand bullet squibs are used. Smooth jazz plays. A classic comes together.