HK Cinema - 1989

In 1989 Chow Yun Fat officially became the God of Actors with his portrayal as a tough but caring cop in Ringo Lam’s Wild Search, the charismatic gambler in Wong Jing’s God Of Gamblers and then his finest role in the greatest HK film ever as the assassin in Woo’s The Killer.

In The Killer Chow is larger than life, mythic, romantic, debonair and deadly. The film is infused with romanticism and themes of honor and loyalty. The gunplay for which the film is so famous is so over the top that it soon becomes surreal and dream like. It is Astaire’s Slaughter on 10th Avenue brought to life in a hail of bullets and buckets of blood.  Woo manages to bring all these elements together and creates a perfect film.

Chow Yun Fat goes on to do a number of other excellent films – Once a Thief, Full Contact, Hard Boiled and his final HK film Peace Hotel – before Hollywood beckoned. Woo followed up The Killer with A Bullet in the Head, Once a Thief, and Hard Boiled before he too made the journey to America.