Jeffrey Chow is an unusual killer. He kills people, but he also believes in loyalty, honor and friendship. One night, Jeff does a job in a nightclub, and things get messy. He accidentally makes a singer blind while shooting at an opponent. Jeff should leave Hong Kong, but he has to stay to help Jenny, the singer. He ends up having the police and a bunch of hitmen after his ass. This involving story leads to a lot of great action scenes but the film is also filled with unforgettable characters and interesting relationships. Jeff and his boss Sydney are best friends, but business and violence gets between them. Their last scene together is extremely intense. Jeff also finds an unusual friend in the person of a cop named Lee. At first, they’re enemies, but they gradually realize that they have a lot in common. Finally, there’s the passionate relationship between Jeff and Jenny.
The film is packed with awesome action scenes brilliantly directed by John Woo, the man who makes violence poetic. The shoot-outs are really inventive. I love how Jeff and Lee jump around and do neat tricks with their weapons. You’ve never seen anyone as good with a gun. The body count is higher than high, and the stunt work is amazing. I also love Woo’s visual style. The bloody finale is set in a church filled with candles and doves. It brings a lot of beauty to the scene. Woo always remains close to the action and to his characters, and he uses slow-motion and freeze frames to accentuate some moments. Another interesting thing is that the characters do get hurt, real bad. This is not a cartoon. It makes the film much more dramatic, as the Mexican standoffs kick and various shoot-outs have bloody, deadly consequences.
Chow Yun-Fat’s excellent as the Killer. He’s both intense and cool. When he runs around with guns, he’s great, but he’s as interesting in emotional scenes. Danny Lee is also really good in the role of the cop. This film is totally enjoyable, from the exciting opening to the riveting showdown. There is lot of mayhem and gunfire, but it’s always motivated by the story. It’s one of the rare action movies in which you truly care about the fate of the characters. “The Killer” is one of the coolest movies I’ve ever seen.