What You Need To Know:
(NA, L, VVV) Neo-paganism; 15 obscenities; extreme violence, graphic body riddling & mutilation by bullets; and, more explosions than the Gulf War.
The film HARD BOILED directed by Chinese director John Woo, is an extremely violent, stylized action-filled police thriller about two Hong Kong detectives who get caught in the middle of a turf war between two Asian Traid arms smuggling gangs. Mr. Hoi, a wealthy and powerful “entrepreneur,” runs a smooth arms-smuggling business until Johnny Wong, a greedy upstart wants to take over his trade. The detectives, Tequila and Tony, wanting to capture the Traids, enter the fray. Pursuing the Triads, the two nearly get killed in a spectacular hour-long crash and shoot out in which the detectives battle the gang. Softening the power-punching action effect, Mr. Woo has Tequila help save a group of babies in the infirmary. In the end, the bad guys are killed, but so is Tony, and Tequila ends up losing another partner he has come to love.
Fraught with kinetic images of realistic and stylized violence, HARD BOILED is as action-packed as any shoot-out film could be. But, for what purpose? Mr. Woo is an extremely talented director. Too bad he doesn’t use his genius for something more uplifting to the human spirit. HARD BOILED is a feast for the eyes, but its barrage of death and mayhem in slow motion, freeze frame and speeded-up camera techniques desensitize our sensibilities and create a great Fourth of July fireworks display. Finally, we are left with only a thrill.