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.
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.