A few friends came over to watch some Hong Kong movies the other night. One of the movies we saw was John Woo’s masterpiece The Killer. If you haven’t seen The Killer, then you really ought to do just that, because this is just scene after scene of insane gunfights with pistols that never run out of ammo. Which is just great, because Chow Yun-Fat (the titular Killer) seems to empty entire clips of ammo into every individual bad guy – and he kills hundreds of them.
Anyway, what attracted me to the movie wasn’t just the over-the-top violence and the “doves flying in the background while Chow Yun-Fat leaps into the air with a gun in each hand” imagery, but the story of a cop and a killer who find out that they actually have similar ideals and could be best friends. They hate that honor and duty is no longer valued in a world that is quickly becoming corrupt and greedy, but stick to their guns (no pun intended) despite being downtrodden.
Back when I first watched this movie, the term “bromance” hasn’t been coined yet. But when you watch ng.
Main characters Detective Lee and Jeffery the Killer exchange some of the corniest dialogue ever written, and there are occasional freeze frames of the pair smiling and laughing to really punch in the notion that these two would make great friends.
Check out the dialogue:
(Lee decides to help Jeffery blast bad guys)
Jeffery: I owe you one!
Lee: Consider this a gift of friendship!
Lee: I wish I could have a friend like you.
Jeffery: You will, in the next life.
Jeffery: Are you always this determined?
Lee: Yes, it’s my style.
Jeffery: Mine too.
Jeffery: You’re an unusual cop.
Lee: Well, you’re an unusual killer.
Jeffery: Would you rather see me dead, or set free?
Lee: Neither, if fate spares us.
Lee (describing Jeffery to a sketch artist): He looks determined… without being ruthless. There’s something heroic about him. He doesn’t look like a killer. He comes across so calm… acts like he has a dream… eyes full of passion.
There’s also a female love interest too… but much like Kelly McGillis in Top Gun, John Woo went and picked a completely ditzy and not-very-attractive actress in the form of singer Sally Yeh. He’s pretty much saying “this girl is not good enough for you, you should be with that detective guy instead! He really understands you!”
While I’m bitching about Sally Yeh, she plays a character so conceited that when she has guests over at her place, she puts on the same song she was singing in a club in the previous scene!
But seriously, this is a great movie. Go watch it!