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Hard Boiled (Ultimate Edition)
BLU-RAY disk
01.18.2011 By: J.A. Hamilton
Hard Boiled (Ultimate Edition) order
Director:
John Woo

Actors:
Chow Yun-Fat
Tony Leung
Phillip Chan

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After losing his partner in a crazy shootout, Tequila, the most badass cop in the precinct puts it all on the line when he teams up an undercover agent who’s in over his head hoping that they can rely on one another long enough to take out the crew of gunrunners responsible.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I love a hard hitting cop flick as much as the next guy but I just wasn’t feeling the love when it came down to HARD BOILED. I like John Woo, no question there and though this was one of the first films to actually get him on the map internationally I do feel it would’ve packed more punch had I watched it back in ninety-two for the first time rather than now. A lot of people have great things to say about this film and I won’t go as far as saying its not deserving but again, I think most of these accolades came from then and not now.

Now of course most of my problems with this film stem from seeing it now for the first time. The story was immediately boring because aside from using every cop themed cliché in the book, I’ve seen this scenario played out dozens of times before and much better at that. One thing I did enjoy is Woo’s trademark explosive action. Everyone hyped up that Tea House shootout but I didn’t find it all too overwhelming. One thing that did bother me throughout however was the fact that Tequila (loved that name) never seemed to run out bullets despite loving to shoot any one person fifteen times or more. I suppose the whole “acknowledging the clip” vibe didn’t get fully realized until a few years after this flick came out but like I said, it’s just something that stands out because of it.

I know this is a pet peeve that I’ve mentioned before but man o man do I hate subtitles and/or ridiculously dubbed English. I get that these films are originally meant to be celebrated in Cantonese and I have no problem with that whatsoever but when you try and loosely translate what people are saying (especially slang) you run into obvious problems. I speak both French and English and there are times I’m going through the grocery store for example and happen to read the French version of something I’m going to buy (for fun) to see how different it sounds from the English version. A lot of the time the French version doesn’t make sense or at least doesn’t translate to exactly what it should. The same is blatantly obvious in this film. I shook my head plenty of times thinking, “Did I just hear that right because it made no damn sense?”

HARD BOILED was no doubt a sight to behold back in 1992 and if you’d watched it then I’m sure it would have nostalgic sentimental value but having watched it for the first time now, I can’t say it was a good time or even remotely entertaining. There were a few times while watching this film I found myself thinking about Michael Douglas’ BLACK RAIN and of course the inside man here reminded me of Jet Li’s character in WAR but that’s the point I’m trying to make, I had to fantasize about other films in order to get through this one and that’s never a good thing. I dig Chow Yun-Fat and trust me nobody but him could make playing a flute look cool but there’s a big difference between him here and him in say CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON. See, there I go fantasizing again.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary: Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan gives us his two cents as he leads us through the film. He clearly loves Woo’s work and I’m not surprised as he’s pretty much the demographic Woo’s shooting for here.

Baptism by Fire: John Woo sits down for an interview where he shares his love Steve McQueen and characters like Dirty Harry. He explains that it was characters like these that he wanted to make tribute to with this film.

Art Imitates Life: Actor Phillip Chan sits down for an interview where he discusses his life experiences as a real cop and then the many roles he landed as a cop in the movies. I remember first seeing him in BLOODSPORT.

Mad Dog Bites Again: Actor Kwok Choi sits down for an interview and discusses the fun of being a villain in the film. There’s really no way playing a professional hit man couldn’t be fun as hell.

Hard Boiled Location Guide: This brief segment hosted by the hot Kia Wang shows us the various set locations where the film was shot around Hong Kong.

Previews: There’s a couple trailers for the film as well as a peek at the STRANGLEHOLD Video Game.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Nostalgia aside this may be one of the original versions of this story but be that as it may, it’s a story you’ve seen a hundred times. I felt this exact same way when I reviewed the original CLASH OF THE TITANS, lots of people swore by it and I’m sure I’d have dug it a lot more had I watched it back in the day rather than for the first time prior to the remake coming out. Sadly, I really wanted to like this film more than I did.
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9:04AM on 01/26/2011

Well...

that guy seems to think the good Chinese action movies date from Crouching tiger hidden dragon to Crouching tiger hidden dragon. That tells all about his "knowledge" of Chinese action cinema.
that guy seems to think the good Chinese action movies date from Crouching tiger hidden dragon to Crouching tiger hidden dragon. That tells all about his "knowledge" of Chinese action cinema.
Your Reply:



8:14AM on 01/19/2011

Worst review ever...

for the best action movie ever made (with Mad Max 2).
for the best action movie ever made (with Mad Max 2).
Your Reply:



+2
1:01AM on 01/19/2011
Being able to place yourself at or around the time of a film's release is essential to not review it correctly, but also enjoy it for the ground breaking it accomplished. Hard Boiled ushered in an era, without question, and is the pinnacle John Woo film.
Being able to place yourself at or around the time of a film's release is essential to not review it correctly, but also enjoy it for the ground breaking it accomplished. Hard Boiled ushered in an era, without question, and is the pinnacle John Woo film.
Your Reply:



6:54PM on 01/18/2011

And yeah...

Anyone who hates reading subtitles, shouldn't be reviewing foreign films. So stop.
Anyone who hates reading subtitles, shouldn't be reviewing foreign films. So stop.
Your Reply:



6:52PM on 01/18/2011

Love this movie

It's an action classic. This was the fist Hong Kong action film I ever saw back in the 90s and I've been watching them ever since. John Woo changed the game with this and The Killer. It's such a great action flick, and it deserves a better review.
It's an action classic. This was the fist Hong Kong action film I ever saw back in the 90s and I've been watching them ever since. John Woo changed the game with this and The Killer. It's such a great action flick, and it deserves a better review.
Your Reply:



4:22PM on 01/18/2011

Insightful review. Not.

How can you rate this movie 3 stars out of 5 if you "can’t say it was a good time or even remotely entertaining"? WTF dude? Shouldn't it have gotten a lower rating then that? This movie is very well done, and an outstanding example of the genre. Crouching Tiger is of course a better movie, but Black Rain and War aren't worth watching on Netflix streaming.
How can you rate this movie 3 stars out of 5 if you "can’t say it was a good time or even remotely entertaining"? WTF dude? Shouldn't it have gotten a lower rating then that? This movie is very well done, and an outstanding example of the genre. Crouching Tiger is of course a better movie, but Black Rain and War aren't worth watching on Netflix streaming.
Your Reply:



4:19PM on 01/18/2011

Awesome film

You shouldn't be reviewing movie if you "don't like reading subtitles" this review was someones personal opinion and in no way a critique. Having to read subtitles should never be a reason why a movie isn't good, its not an american film how why would they film it in english?
You shouldn't be reviewing movie if you "don't like reading subtitles" this review was someones personal opinion and in no way a critique. Having to read subtitles should never be a reason why a movie isn't good, its not an american film how why would they film it in english?
Your Reply:



4:05PM on 01/18/2011

Problem...

I disagree as this film is bad ass and for whatever reason the reviewer completely ignores the 4 minute unbroken shot action sequence at the end... All that is (I guess) fine. To each his own... But: "I hate subtitles" ?!? What kind of ignorant shit is that?!? I agree 100% on bad dubbing, which is why i ALWAYS prefer subtitles, but to be against subtitles in general? That's unforgivable especially on this web site. Completely invalidates this review... In my opinion...
I disagree as this film is bad ass and for whatever reason the reviewer completely ignores the 4 minute unbroken shot action sequence at the end... All that is (I guess) fine. To each his own... But: "I hate subtitles" ?!? What kind of ignorant shit is that?!? I agree 100% on bad dubbing, which is why i ALWAYS prefer subtitles, but to be against subtitles in general? That's unforgivable especially on this web site. Completely invalidates this review... In my opinion...
Your Reply:



1:43PM on 01/18/2011

AWFUL REVIEW

I saw this for the first time in 2007, and it instantly skyrocketed to my top five action films, and top ten films. It is also my favorite John Woo film (even over THE KILLER). Not to mention, it was HARD BOILED that made me seek out A BETTER TOMORROW 1&2, ONCE A THIEF, BULLET IN THE HEAD, etc, which eventually ranked Woo amongst my top three directors. Now that is all opinion, but I've shown the film to a number of people since, some younger than me, others older, and all were blown away. So,
I saw this for the first time in 2007, and it instantly skyrocketed to my top five action films, and top ten films. It is also my favorite John Woo film (even over THE KILLER). Not to mention, it was HARD BOILED that made me seek out A BETTER TOMORROW 1&2, ONCE A THIEF, BULLET IN THE HEAD, etc, which eventually ranked Woo amongst my top three directors. Now that is all opinion, but I've shown the film to a number of people since, some younger than me, others older, and all were blown away. So, your theory that the film has not aged will is incorrect. It'd be like saying THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE UGLY is invalid because it was made in the 60s. You're entitled to your opinion dude, but this review does not do the film justice, and frankly, nor is there any film literacy in your analysis. I think you're just not cut out for Hong Kong cinema. JOHN WOO FOREVER! P.S. HARD BOILED is cliched because it was ripped off in WAR? Really? Does that mean LETHAL WEAPON should be rendered obsolete because of COP OUT?
Your Reply:



+9
1:05PM on 01/18/2011
Best action movie ever made, hands down.
Best action movie ever made, hands down.
Your Reply:



12:43PM on 01/18/2011
I can watch this thing over and over without fail, it's that awesome. Hard Boiled is worth it alone for the hospital shootout. That Steadicam shot down the hallway and up the elevator that goes on for like four minutes is fantastic. This movie's an action masterpiece
I can watch this thing over and over without fail, it's that awesome. Hard Boiled is worth it alone for the hospital shootout. That Steadicam shot down the hallway and up the elevator that goes on for like four minutes is fantastic. This movie's an action masterpiece
Your Reply:



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