Tag Archives: John Woo

Mission: Impossible II (2000)

It’s rare that I watch a movie and wonder how it ever got off the ground but with Mission: Impossible II I had a hard time believing that such a crappy script could make it to screen. Just like good writing can make a mediocre film worth recommending bad writing can take that same film and cast it into the realm of utter crap. Granted, John Woo saves the film from falling too far back into the pit of disaster but there’s no denying this is two poor hours of action tied together by thin plotting. Continue reading Mission: Impossible II (2000)

Hard Target (1993)

John Woo’s first American picture shows a distinct shift in the director’s work. While his films will contain his distinct style and excessive slow motion, his American films are much tamer than his Hong Kong pictures. In many ways one begins to see Woo’s assimilation into the Hollywood mentality as the heroes become more idealized, the line between good and evil is straightforward and the violence is tamed back. Continue reading Hard Target (1993)

Hard Boiled (1992)

Moving on now to some more serious John Woo, Hard Boiled is perhaps John Woo’s most well known film, or at least the film he is most well known for. The crime drama starring Hong Kong’s action poster boy, Chow Yun-Fat, serves as another vehicle for excessive slow motion and an ocean of bullets, shells and grenades. But there’s a bit of subtly at work here, something beyond all the shootouts. Continue reading Hard Boiled (1992)

Once a Thief (1991)

The Killer is the John Woo film I should be starting with but seeing as I’m unable to obtain a copy we’ll start with Once a Thief, an early ‘90s feature while Woo was still working in Hong Kong. All of Woo’s films are ridiculous, sometimes it’s the action, sometimes it’s the camerawork but sometimes the film is trying to be silly. In some ways Once a Thief seems to be Woo poking fun at himself in other ways it’s more of the Woo madness. Continue reading Once a Thief (1991)