Alright I'll admit, it was pretty awesome.
Hard Boiled has been on my radar since probably 2008, and now that I've finally seen it I can appreciate it that much more. It's not as off the wall over the top as Crank but still illicited strong vocal reactions from me and I really loved it. The plot involves two police officers, one undercover and one putting pressure on the outside to bring down a weapons magnate and crime lord. Very simple plot but the execution is what makes it work so well. The movie had me hook, line, and sinker before the 10 minute mark, the fact alone the movie was about a cop who offtimes as a jazz musician is enough for me to pay pre-screening prices to see this movie. I've just never seen that in a movie before, and the soundtrack itself is very jazz/blues mix with some damn good action beats which reminded me of a combination of Blade Runner and Cowboy Bebop. Awesome. And once again, for reasons unbeknownst even to myself I friggin' love asian cinema around this time period, the movie was released in 1992 which hits that sweet spot for me, if a movie was made in Japan or China from the span of 1984 to 1998 I'm there. The action, ho mah gawd. It's insane, but with many recognizable cliches which I enjoy a great deal. More henchmen than you can shake a stick at, guns that never have to reload, good use of slow-mo, guys flying through plate glass windows, it's not a realistic movie but who says action has to be? Chow Yun-Fat is needless to say a great lead, flawless in his action man status but very funny and has the range to play up emotional states. At first I thought Tony Chieu-Wai Yeung was going to play an undercover cop torn between being an officer of the law and right hand man of a crime boss, but he's a good guy but has to do some bad stuff and that's a real good character dynamic. He hits the emotional scenes much more than Chow has to and I thought was mighty good. Teresa Mo what a class act, she was friggin' brilliant, at first being a comedic relief cutie pie but at that climax hell to the yeah. Speaking of climax, that 3 minute shot that everyone raves about is well deserved. They have this running gunfight through the hallways of a hospital, no edits, no trick photography, expertly timed choreography and gun effects, for almost 3 minutes. Pretty impressive I must say. The stuntwork and effects involved throughout must be commended, cause you really got to know what you are doing to make it all seamless and they by God do it. I read that they used legit guns and not prop weapons, and about 100,000 squibs and I'm not sure how many squibs were used in The Wild Bunch which supposedly was more than actual bullets used in the Mexican Revolution but it was a lot. Maybe not one of the more flowery written action movies or bloodiest even, but it was a treat to see this movie and I loved it from start to finish. 4 stars, 8.5/10, and Bullet Train is speeding onwards tomorrow.