After I first watched the film Hard Boiled, I felt I had seen the greatest crime action film of all time. Years later, and with many more criminal action films under my belt, I still stand by that opinion. Hard Boiled truly is an amazing symphony of bullets with a great conductor (director) beautifully orchestrating all of the intense action we witness onscreen.
Yes, the action sequences in Hard Boiled are over the top and very stylized but that's what makes the film a joy to watch. It doesn't expect you to question why the good and bad guys in the film never seem to run out of bullets (except at opportune times to heighten the tension) or how the main characters in the story seem to defy death with so much chaos around them. It is a film that asks you, the audience, to come into this violent world of make believe mayhem and simply enjoy the ride, like one might a roller coaster.
Hard Boiled is a 1992 action/crime/thriller film directed by John Woo, who is considered by many filmmakers the greatest action director of our time, possibly of all time. The film stars Yun-Fat Chow as Inspector "Tequila" Yuen who is working a case, investigating mobsters who are smuggling guns into Hong Kong. The other main protagonist of the film is Tony, played by Tony Leung Chiu Wai. Leung plays an undercover officer who has gotten deep into the mobsters criminal world as a new hot shot enforcer whom the two biggest gun dealing mobs want working for them.
|Tony (Tony Leung) and Tequila (Yun-Fat Chow)|
The film's big time action begins at a tea house where Tequila and other officers have set up a sting operation on mobster gun smugglers. All hell breaks loose after the policemen let themselves be known and many innocent people are killed, as is Tequila's friend and partner. The death of his friend becomes an even bigger motivation for Tequila to not simply sit back and wait for the mobsters to make a mistake but to literally attack them; single handedly, if need be.
Tony meanwhile, works directly under the mob headed by Mr. Hoi (Hoi-Shan Kwan). Tony, being such a good enforcer, is recruited by Hoi's rival, Johnny Wong (Anthony Wong Chau-Sang), a younger, more ambitious and violent mobster. He sees Tony as a great asset and would like nothing better than to have him betray his old boss by coming over to join his side, thus wiping out his main competition at the same time.
|Tony (Tony Leung)|
|Tequila (Chow) and Tony (Leung)|
Despite their obvious differences, however, they really are the same. They both acknowledge the deaths they have witnessed or been a part of, even if in their own personal way. Tony makes paper cranes for each life he has taken, while Tequila writes music for every fallen comrade.
So, I leave you with this thought. If you're the type of person for whom the soundtrack of many bullets firing is music to your ears, and you love buddy action flicks with great stunt work and beautiful camera movements, I recommend Hard Boiled. Once you get ahold of it, just remember to buckle up for a fast moving ride.
For more information visit their IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104684/