The Killer

Screening on Film
Directed by John Woo.
With Chow Yun-Fat, Danny Lee, Sally Yeh.
Hong Kong, 1989, 35mm, color, 111 min.
Cantonese and Japanese with English subtitles.

John Woo, Chow Yun-fat, and the Hong Kong action cinema in general gained international attention with the release of The Killer. A contract killer (Chow) accidentally blinds a nightclub singer (Yeh) and, guiltily, decides to take a last job in order to buy her a cornea transplant. Meanwhile, a renegade cop (Lee) assigned to the case begins to feel an affinity for the killer. All of the classic Woo elements are in evidence here: intricately choreographed violence, religious imagery, operatic melodrama and, of course, white doves flying in slow motion.

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