When a contract killer accidentally blinds a nightclub singer, he takes on one last job in order to pay for an operation to restore her sight but his employer is less than willing to let him retire.
John Woo’s international breakthrough film, The Killer explores his favourite subjects of honour, loyalty, and revenge. It’s pure XY chromosome pleasing male bonding and excessive gun play and to be honest, it’s showing its age a little. His penchant for heavy handed sentimentality is clearly in evidence – although it’s nowhere near as cloying as A Better Tomorrow – and the dialogue is clumsy and repetitive; in fact when Danny Lee is describing Chow Yun Fat for a composite picture he sounds like he’s in love! But let’s face it, this film is all about the action and Woo’s trademark “heroic bloodshed” is as thrilling as ever; the slow motion acrobatics, duffel bags full of firearms and exploding masonry will be familiar to anybody who has seen any one of pretty much every modern action film since The Matrix.
Hardly the height of subtlety and sophistication, but it’s still a stylish and exciting throwback to the days of 1980’s machismo.