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Hard Boiled

Year: 1992
Director: John Woo
Writer: John Woo
Cast: Chow Yun Fat, Tony Leung
Like Jackie Chan's early work, the Hong Kong police action drama was a subculture all its own, now having come into its own in Hollywood through it's biggest ambassadors, John Woo and Chow Yun Fat, who come together here.

You can see how much things are watered down for American audiences however, putting paid to the theory that American movies are the most violent. What's interesting in American movies is that very few people die who actually don't deserve it (on screen, in any case). Here, Woo portrays with delight clutches of sick and infirm mown down in a hospital because they're caught in the crossfire, and he has no compunction about having heroes and villains juggle babies while they kill each other in the climactic hospital battle. Bloodshed, gruesome murder, cruelty and menace explode through the screen like glass.

Yun Fat is a cop on the trail of a crime lord. That about sums up the generic plot, and provides the excuse for gun battles that would rival some World War 2 battles for their brutal violence and comically high body counts. The seeds of some very iconic and unique talents that would go far.

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