The Killer (1. 98. Wikipedia. The Killer (simplified Chinese: . Chow plays the assassin Ah Jong, who accidentally damages the eyes of the singer Jennie (Sally Yeh) during a shootout. He later discovers that if Jennie does not have an expensive operation she will go blind. To get the money for Jennie, Ah Jong decides to perform one last hit. After the financial backing from Tsui Hark became problematic following the release of Woo's film A Better Tomorrow 2, Woo had to find backing through Chow Yun Fat and Danny Lee's financing companies.
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Woo went into filming The Killer with a rough draft whose plot was influenced by the films Le Samoura. Woo desired to make a film about honour, friendship and the relationship of two seemingly opposite people. After finishing filming, Woo referred to The Killer as a tribute to directors Jean- Pierre Melville and Martin Scorsese. The Killer was not an immediate success in Hong Kong, but received critical acclaim in the Western world with reviewers praising the action scenes and its over- the- top style. The film became Woo's stepping stone to make Hollywood films and has been a strong influence on many directors, including Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Johnnie To. A Hong Kong assassin, Ah Jong, is on his last job for the Triad (a criminal organization), but accidentally damages the eyes of a young nightclub singer named Jennie with a muzzle flash in a shootout. After the attack, Ah Jong begins to watch Jennie perform at the nightclub and escorts her home when she is attacked by thugs.
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Jennie and Ah Jong begin to fall in love during his frequent visits at her apartment. Driven to help her secure the money for a sight- saving corneal transplant, he accepts one final hit. A police detective, Li Ying, spots Ah Jong completing the job but the assassin escapes. The Triad leader Hay Wong Hoi double crosses Ah Jong, and instead of paying him, sends a group of hitmen to kill him. During Ah Jong's escape from the Triad, a young child is injured by a stray bullet. After dispatching the attackers, Ah Jong rushes the child to the hospital while being followed by Li and his partner Sgt. Once the child regains consciousness at the casualty ward, Ah Jong escapes Li and Tsang.
Li becomes obsessed with Ah Jong's act of good will. He and Tsang find that Ah Jong visits Jennie at her apartment; they plan to arrest him the next time he visits her. Ah Jong visits Jennie and is caught in an ambush from which he manages to escape. Li and Tsang explain to Jennie that Ah Jong was the assassin that blinded her at the nightclub.
Ah Jong meets with his Triad manager, Fung Sei (Chu Kong), and demands his payment for the job. Fung Sei brings a suitcase for Ah Jong, who discovers it to be filled with sheets of blank paper before finding himself in the middle of a Triad ambush. He kills all of the hitmen, but leaves Fung Sei alive. The next day, after Fung Sei's pleas for Wong Hoi fall on deaf ears, Ah Jong does a hit- and- run on Wong Hoi's car, wounding the Triad leader and killing his driver and bodyguard.
Li begins to close in on Ah Jong after Tsang follows Fung Sei; Tsang is killed after revealing the location of his home. Because of their friendship, Fung Sei leaves a large stockpile of weaponry for Ah Jong. The home is another ambush; Li attacks, followed by a group of Triad hitmen.
Li gets caught in the middle of the crossfire between Ah Jong and the Triad. Ah Jong and Li flee, and while Ah Jong's wounds are mended, they find themselves bonding and becoming friends. Ah Jong tells Li that should anything happen to him, Li should have Ah Jong's eyes donated for Jennie's surgery or use Ah Jong's money to fly her overseas to have her surgery performed by more experienced doctors. Li, Ah Jong, and Jennie wait in a church for Fung Sei to return with Ah Jong's money. Fung Sei arrives with the money, horribly beaten by Wong Hoi's gangsters who have followed him. He is mortally wounded when the hitmen barge into the church.
After Ah Jong ends Fung Sei's misery, he and Li engage in a long and bloody shootout with the Triad all over the church. The battle ends with a Mexican standoff between Ah Jong, Li and Wong Hoi. Ah Jong manages to wound Wong Hoi, but the Triad leader lands two bullets in Ah Jong's eyes before the latter dies of his wounds. When a police squadron arrives in the scene, Wong Hoi begs to be taken into custody. Frustrated by the outcome of the battle, Li fatally shoots Wong Hoi and mourns Ah Jong just as the police surround him. The credits roll with Ah Jong playing the harmonica. Chow Yun- fat as Ah Jong (.
Ah Jong decides to take on one last mission to pay for surgery to repair her eyes. Ah Jong is called John and Jeff in some subtitled prints of the film. Li works with his partner Tsang to find Ah Jong. After his first meeting with him, Li becomes obsessed with Ah Jong's morals and character.
The nickname given to Li by Ah Jong is . In some dubbed and subtitled prints, his nickname is .
Jennie falls in love with Ah Jong, before learning of his profession as a killer. Kenneth Tsang as Sgt. Tsang Yeh, Li's police partner. Tsang helps find the whereabouts of Fung Sei which will lead Li to Ah Jong.
In some subtitled prints, his name is Randy Chang. Chu Kong as Fung Sei, Ah Jong's Triad manager and close friend. After Ah Jong is spotted on a hit, Fung Sei is ordered to kill Ah Jong. In some subtitled prints, his name is . In some subtitled versions he is . Spy comics from Mad Magazine. Scenes with this reflective doubling include the hospital sequence with Li and Ah Jong on opposite sides of a hospital hall and in the final battle scene where Li and Ah Jong are in a standoff with Wong.
If they see something in The Killer that they consider to be homoerotic then that is their privilege. It's certainly not intentional. Ah Jong is later found in the church again getting several slugs pulled out of his back showing his intense pain while the altar and cross are shown prominently behind him. He filled the church with doves and pigeons, employing doves to represent the spirits of the people.
This was the first film where Woo used the dove symbolism and he has used it to similar effect in Hard Target and Face/Off. In Chinese culture, a cat coming into a home is an omen of ruin and poverty for its inhabitants. Both Chang and Jennie meet negative outcomes in the film. The first cut of A Better Tomorrow 2 was too long for the studio. When Chang refused, Hark began rejecting Woo's new film ideas, including ideas for films that would later be made, such as Bullet in the Head and Once a Thief. Woo wanted Danny Lee to play Li Ying, but Lee was under an exclusive contract with Cinema City and was only able to work on The Killer if his production company, Magnum, was involved. Yeh was currently contracted with Tsui Hark and accepted the role but later felt she did not give her best performance.
Chu Kong was a friend of Chow Yun- fat who had entered retirement and returned to acting in The Killer as a favor. Woo borrows plot elements for the film, including the set- up where Jef enters a nightclub and looks at the female singer.
When a mob tricks him into killing an innocent person, he swears revenge but then meets a woman who has tuberculosis and wants to go home. The killer promises the woman that he will take her home after getting his revenge. Residents thought it was a real gunfight and phoned the police. However, when the police arrived, Danny Lee talked to the superintendent so they could continue filming. It was planned for the boats to flip over during the chase but the owners refused because they felt it would bring bad luck.
John Woo wanted this house to be by a beach but a suitable location could not be found. The action scene inside the house took 2. Due to Sally Yeh's tight filming schedule, the scene was not filmed and replaced with Ah Jong playing the harmonica. For the opening scene, Woo wanted the singer to perform a jazz song and have the killer playing a saxophone. Tsui rejected this idea as he felt that the Hong Kong audiences did not understand or like jazz.
The songs were requested by the studio and written specifically for The Killer. David Wu said the influence of the Harmonica music in Sergio Leone's western films was a strong influence on his work.
This was the idea of editor David Wu who felt that it would break up the numbing effect of the kinetic violence. It was then cut to its current running time of 1. Hong Kong during July 1. One thing I can say for sure is, the American, European, Japanese, Korean and even the Taiwanese audiences and critics appreciated The Killer a lot more than it was in Hong Kong. Bonus features on DVD included the trailer, production notes, and a commentary track. Bonus features included were interviews with John Woo, a location guide, and a trailer gallery.
Stephen Holden of The New York Times referred to the film as . With excess like this you can't help but laugh. This is a rush of a movie. The Washington Post stated that . It's all the Woo flourishes.. The Killer to another level. I wish we had more money for squib effects (bullet hits).
Director Robert Rodriguez before production on El Mariachi (1. Like Nikita, Woo's films show alienated and often brutal characters and graphic violence. No references to the film are made in the original novel. Hong Kong director Johnnie To borrows from The Killer's gunfighting style, oppositional character pairing, and parody in his films A Hero Never Dies, Running Out of Time, and Fulltime Killer. American hip hop artist, and Wu- Tang Clan member Raekwon released his critically praised debut album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.. They have to become partners to work shit out. A year later, screenwriters Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr.
The press release of this remake stated the script was written for actors Richard Gere and Denzel Washington.
The Killer (1. 98. Rotten Tomatoes. Chow Yun- Fat, director John Woo's favorite actor, stars as a professional assassin. The moral outrages of his employers lead Yun- Fat, who adheres to his own code of honor, to seek a way out of his lifestyle. Towards this goal, the assassin befriends the cop (Danny Lee) who has been sent to stop him, and whom Yun- Fat has inadvertently blinded. The violence in The Killer is graphic and uncompromising, but with a near- balletic finesse that can (without fear of sounding pretentious) be labelled sheer artistry. The film ended up as the highest- grossing Hong Kong production since the days of Bruce Lee.
Rating: RGenre: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense. Directed By: Written By: In Theaters: Jul 5, 1. On DVD: Dec 3. 1, 1.
Runtime. 1. 10 minutes.