Lat sau san taam (Hard-Boiled) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lat sau san taam (Hard-Boiled) Reviews

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June 29, 2016
John Woo is an action genius.
May 2, 2016
Well I'm happy i finally watched it. Impressive action and stunts. The plot was basic and had some slow parts but the action scenes more then made up for it. I wish they would make more movies like this. I've never seen a movie like this before. Very Asian inspired and gory and violent.
April 15, 2016
John Woo's film is delightfully over-the-top, and nudges Hong Kong filmmaking in a gritter, more violent direction.
Super Reviewer
April 14, 2016
John Woo's 1992 action film "Hard Boiled" has some of the most exciting choreographed action sequences ever put on camera. Also like many of John Woo's Hong Kong pictures, it stars Chow Yun-Fat as Tequila, a hard boiled cop who is determined to bring down the gun smugglers who killed his partner in a botched arrest turned gang war in a teahouse. While on the trail he comes across Alan (Tony Leung Chu-wei) who is an undercover cop working in a rival triad before being recruited by Johnny Wong (Anthony Wong). Together the two work to bring down Wong's gun smuggling activities. This leads to one of the most chaotic climaxes in movie history leading to a gun battle between the triad and the police at a hospital.
This would be Woo's last film in Hong Kong before heading to Hollywood to make action pictures here. Although, at times "Hard Boiled" plays out like a first person shooter video game where unnammed gangmembers appear out of nowhere only to be killed by the good guys, this may be Woo's best film. It builds more of a story than 1989's "The Killer." And like "The Killer," the movie takes many cues from Jean-Pierre Melville's "Le Samourai" as well as American cop films like "Dirty Harry" and "Bullitt."
This film definitely glorifies the police and show their regard for human life as that is contrasted with the triad's disregard for anyone and everyone that stands in their way, regardless of age or their physical condition.
Overall, this film is one of the greates action films of the late 1980's to early 1990's and it's no wonder Hollywood wanted John Woo.
March 21, 2016
If you're looking for an overblown action-fest with an easy-to-follow story, look no further. I may not be very familiar with Woo's movies, but I like what I see so far. While a little too overblown for my tastes at times, it is still one of the best action films I've seen. And thank God for the English dub because if I had to read this whole movie the score would have been a lot lower. Props to you John Woo, I look forward to seeing what else you have to offer.
March 13, 2016
Loud action that can get monotonous over time, with questionable editing, but there's reasonable fun to be had
January 10, 2016
Review:
I remember thinking that this movie was amazing when I first watched it, in the early 90's, because of the great action at the end and the coolness of Chow Yun-Fat but I must admit, it does look a bit dated now. The soundtrack is awful throughout the movie and the gun action seemed a bit messy and over exaggerated. Anyway, this movie is about a Hong Kong cop, Officer "Tequila" Yuen (Chow Yun-Fat), who attempts to arrest a group of gun smugglers in a tea house with his partner, Benny (Bowie Lam). During an epic shootout, Benny is killed and many of the officers are badly wounded so Tequila goes on a mission to kill the gang who ambushed there operation. Whilst seeking revenge for his partner, Tequila sets out to kill the gangster who sent out his henchmen to ambush the deal but Tequila's boss, Pang (Philips Chan) wants the gangster alive so he can testify. While all of that commotion is happening, a high ranking assassin, Alan (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai), works for a triad boss, Uncle Hoi but when Alan is approached by a rival gang leader, Johnny Wong (Anthony Wong) to join his gang because of his impressive gun skills, Alan turns against Hoi and they plan to raid one of Hoi's warehouses. During the raid, Wongs henchmen kill most of Hoi's workers and he demands Alan to kill Wong who is called to the scene. Because of his loyalty to his new boss, Alan kills Hoi and he's left alone with his thoughts while Wong departs. Tequila watches the whole alteration and he attempts to kill Alan but he runs out of ammo and to his surprise, Alan spares his life. Tequila is then told by Pang, that Alan is an undercover officer so they join forces to take-down Wong, while he still is undercover. Tequila's informant, Foxy (Tung Wei) gets fatally injured by Wongs henchmen and Alan shoots Foxy to show his loyalty to Wong but he knows that the shot wouldn't kill him because he gave him a lighter, which he put in his breast pocket. Foxy then tells Tequila about the whole alteration and Tequila takes Foxy to the nearby hospital because of his fatal wounds. When Wong finds out that Foxy is still alive, he sends his henchmen to the hospital to kill Foxy but Alan and Tequila are there to protect him. Whilst fighting against Wongs henchmen, Tequila and Alan come across a secret passage which leads to Wongs arsenal, which they use to defend themselves. Wong then takes the patients and police officers hostage and after killing many of them, without any remorse, Pang and his officers get involved to try and free some of the babies in the maternity ward. Tequila helps to save the babies and the hostages while Alan goes head to head with Wongs head henchman. Wong then plants bombs around the hospital, so Tequila has to fight against time to save the last baby. When Wong starts to murder some more of the patients, his head henchman decides to turns his gun on Wong because he's against killing innocent people but he runs out of ammo and is killed by Wong on the spot. While the building is exploding, Wong comes out of the hospital, holding Alan at gunpoint and Wong tries to humiliate Tequila in front of all of his fellow officers but Alan isn't having any of it and he puts up a struggle with Wong and shoots himself through the belly, giving Tequila enough time to kill him. Once again, it's another detailed storyline with loads of bullets flying throughout the movie but the whole look and feel of the film was a bit dated. I really liked Chow Yun-Fat's character because of his no fear, one man army attitude but the gun action is a bit far fetched and I personally would have enjoyed it more, if it wasn't 2 hours long. Watchable!

Round-Up:
This movie was John Woo's last release in his native country before he hit the Western market with Hard Target with Jean Claude Van Damme. Its the last movie that he made with Chow Yun-Fat, after a successful run of movies together, which include A Better Tomorrow I & II, the Killer and Once A Thief and I hope they come together again, before Woo decides to retire. Anyway, the signature gun action from Woo is definitely what made this a hit in the early 90's but I was expecting more the second time around.

Budget: $4.5million
Worldwide Gross: HK$19.7million

I recommend this movie to people who are into their action/crime/drama's starring Chow Yun-Fat, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Teresa Mo and Philip Chan. 4/10
December 6, 2015
This is a fantastic, explosive action crime flick by John Woo. I love you John Woo! Fantastic work!!!
November 7, 2015
Not my favorite of Woo's films. It's a bit lighter on some of the themes that make his work so interesting (before his journey to Hollywood). It's lighter on those themes though because it's heavier on action, and the action is incredible in this one. The extended hospital-set action climax is easily 1/4 of the running time of the entire film, and that's far from a bad thing. It's not just one long action scene, it's a series of escalating action scenes interwoven with real plot and character development.
½ September 19, 2015
Said to feature some of the greatest action scenes ever made, Hard Boiled was not an option for me to miss.

Delivering on the promises of a John Woo film, Hard Boiled delivers plenty of action. But this is both for better and for worse. When I say for worse, I mean that there is a sense of the film being heavy on action and too short on pacing sensibility.
It's hard to complain about the action in Hard Boiled becauuse the quality of it is purely magnificent, but considering that the film runs for a total of 128 minutes, there is a lot of it to take in. The manic energy of the action scenes can be a little overwhelming at times, but that's not really the problem. The fault in Hard Boiled lies in the fact that it goes between bursts of energy-rich action and then extended sequences of dialogue-laden plot building. The screenplay isn't bad because some of the characters and situations are interesting, but the fact that Hard Boiled goes between throwing action at viewers and then pulling back to styysh attempts to mimic the visual style of neo-noir cinema. The oscillation can be a little much at times, jarring the viewer. And the slower scenes of the film do not stand up in comparison to the powerful action scenes. There is a sense that the actors are determined to work with their characters, but the screenplay doesn't precisely give them many innovative roles to work with. And I couldnt' even find a humourous edge in the story, so I felt like the tone of the film was a bit heavy. In all essence, Hard Boiled is a remorselessly serious film which is packed to the brim with explosions, shootouts and blood that reinforces this. But the sequences that have to reinforce this notion with talking instead of violence do not effectively hold up to the same standard.
The success of Hardboiled is constantly predicated on the stylish nature of the film. And though the scenery of the film is nice, it more importantly plays a key role in providing powerful situations for the action to unfold in. And the action is fast like an old Kung Fu movie, and yet not the slightest bit cheap or unconvincing. In actuality, it comes off as feeling very legitimate with powerful production values despite the film being a low-budget piece. All the money is clearly diverted into creating powerful action, and it shows off very well because the excitement is undeniable. The stunts are remarkable, and the visual style of the film works to up the scale of them very easily.
There is a creative use of close tracking shots, and they go on for an extended period of time with minimal editing which proves to be an extensive boost to the credibility of the choreography. The extensive shots in Hard Boiled depict the actors doing all their own stunts with extremely fast intense dedication to the mood of the film without having their efforts buried under editing. But even then, the editing knows how to enhance the feature at times. John Woo tends to have a habit of using slow motion too much in some of his Ameican action films. In Hard Boiled, it is never a problem. Staying true to what fan have come to expect from him, John Woo packs Hard Boiled full of fast-paced action scenes which use a sporadic touch of slow-motion to emphasize the extent of graphic involvement from the cast and just how high-profile John Woo envisions all the explosions and shootouts as being. There is a sense that occasionally the use of slow motion can disrupt the intent to create a massive rush, but the superior elements of the action stand above the lesser elements of them. One of the other positive aspects of the action is that the overall scope of the film is elevated when the cinematography constantly takes a wide view of everything which gives viewers an open perspective of the action scenes, depicting everyone involved within a single frame. This is one of the most impressive visual elements of the film, and the brutal level of blood is another factor ensuring that there is striking imagery in the film. And ultimately, the action is exhilarating and creative enough to the point that it glamourizes the efforts of the police officers in the narrative just as John Woo intended while also using violence to create a rich atmosphere. And when the film comes to an end, the effect of the atmosphere is resolved with a sense that the main characters survived at the cost of so many other lives. This is a grim sentiment, and it just goes to show how the action helps to drive the narrative.
And beneath the style of the film, Chow-Yum Fat delivers a standout performance. Chow-Yum Fat is a brilliant protagonist in Hard Boiled. Embodying the title of the film, Chow-Yum Fat is able to capture a sophisticated and edgy police officer with determination and an edge within him. And when it comes time for him to unleash that edge, his movements are bold and swift which show him darting through the stunts of the film with relentless passion. He is very engaged with every facet of the role, both internally and on a surface level so that he can actively bring out the essence of ambition within the character and divert it into his physical energy without problem. Chow-Yum Fat packs a mean punch in Hard Boiled, and he is able to do so without ever removing the professional nature of the character,

So Hard Boiled may shake viewers with its oscillation between the fast paced action genre and the more slow, dialogue heavy neo-noir elements of the feature, but John Woo's insistence on delivering the greatest action possible and chow-Yum Fat's ability to rise to that same challenge ensures that the film is packed with unforgettable action scenes of the highest voltage.
September 14, 2015
Hard-Boiled is Die Hard's only real competitor as far as 80's action flicks go. When characterization is less interesting and less important as the action (there are other great action flicks but they are in a different weight class). There is not much that be said for Hard-Boiled, it is good fun (for all the over-the-top violence what sets it apart from the violence of the aforementioned Straw Dogs is the level of drama that bookends Dogs with the possibility that it can actually happen).
½ September 6, 2015
Its a masterpiece for viewers who love action films to bits. Arguably the best John Woo film ever. Lots of shooting action. NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN
August 27, 2015
A classic.

Gun fights were over the top and gorgeous, glorious bullet-fire ballets and explosions fill the screen in this "gun fu" classic.

From start to finish, you'll love it.
½ August 24, 2015
a good action movie directed by let's face it the greatest action director ever john woo. this film is about a cop who is hunting 2 arms dealing rival Chinese mobs and one of the members of the Chinese mob betrays them and joins the other you find out he is actually a undercover cop. really the plot is a excuse to show a crap ton of action and by the first 10 minutes you already know what your getting into with this one. this film has the most action I've seen in a film ever. and everything about the film for the most part is good I really love the score to this movie the 80s city jazz touches were fantastic the script was rather funny at times and you gotta love the badass villains because the villains are make or break in a action movie and here there great biggest problem for me is the length it really went on a little too long even by the 60 minute mark it felt like the film was wrapping up soon but it didn't the hospital sequence. dragged the movie out. some scenes could have been cut and in this hospital there was non stop action. but it got to the point I couldn't tell who was a bad guy a cop a good guy a hospital worker. I got really confused. gunshots left and right didn't woo me there (no pun intended). but gladly the finale is very cool and kind of leads Me to believe theres a deeper message which that's cool a epretty good flick regardless. action classic but to be perfectly honest. the film is not the greatest in the action genre considering most of the action was kind of pointless. and it was really overextended some sequences were same amped up with action it almost felt like john woo was trying to set a world record with stunt work the film has nothing on films like die hard or lethal weapon films that aren't confusing. but regardless can't say I didn't enjoy it
½ August 7, 2015
An orgy of violence, explosions, guns, and plenty of style, John Woo's epic crime thriller is fires from all cylinders, figuratively and physically.

The film is a basic cop vs baddies movies, a hardboiled cop named Tequila, (Chow Yun Fat) teams up with undercover Triad hitman Alan (Tong Leung) in order to take down some weapons dealers. The result is tons of awesome gunplay, violence, and just a bit of character development to top it all off.

You notice small details in multiple viewings. The character Alan just wants to be a normal uniform wearing cop, but got roped into doing dirty work while undercover. For his final battle against the hordes of villains, Alan puts on a cop's uniform to represent what he has always wanted to do.

Tequila on the other hand supposedly used to be more sensitive back in his cadet days, but dealing with violent criminals has made him harder. Both work off each other well, for a bit of a buddy angle in between all the shooting.

Anthony Wong gets to ham it up as a despicable villain who kills innocent people. He gets into his role quite menacingly well and proves to be a fearful yet cunning baddie.

Full of gory gunplay and tons of style, Hardboiled is arguably John Woo's best action movie. Its one of the quintessential action films, like the Hong Kong equivalent to Die Hard.
½ July 30, 2015
Two editions of this riveting, firecracker film from John Woo exist, but it's the out-of-print Criterion DVD that you want. It's the only copy of this Hong Kong dazzler that delivers rich sound and color. Hong Kong star Chow Yun-Fat is the cop out for vengeance against the Triad that killed his partner. When one of the thugs (a terrific Tony Leung) turns out to be an undercover police officer, that's when the signature Woo action thrills kick in. It all comes down to that climactic shootout set in a hospital that will have your pulse pounding like crazy, and Criterion does not disappoint. If you happen to be so lucky to have the Criterion DVD, check the student film from a then-amatuer Woo that shows you a master in the act of inventing his own balletic style of action and violence.
Super Reviewer
July 28, 2015
Far-fetched and yet exciting and tense. For all its plethoric blood spilling, cheesy one-liners and balletic gunfights this must be the quintessential hong kong action flick. A master class of choreography.
July 28, 2015
A classic action film from the master John Woo, filled with some great action sequences and some of the best story and acting in 90s cheesy action films.
July 8, 2015
This is THE John Woo film and one of the reasons Chow Yun-Fat became an international action star.
Hard Boiled contains every signature John Woo-ism and has some of the best gun play to ever see the big screen.
This is just before Woo came to the US to direct such films as Hard Target starring Van Damme and Face/Off starring Travolta and Cage.
I personally think this is his crowning achievement and while I do enjoy a large amount of the films from John Woo, none of them have really come close to containing the stylish action sequences found in Hard Boiled.
And for some reason I keep typing John Wood :P
½ June 25, 2015
The translated version I watched was very hard to follow along, just very awkward dialogue. The criterion version is probably translated best. I was expecting a little more substance to this film, but it ended up just being overdone and quite corny most of the time. I do greatly respect the action sequences though.
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