Director: Philip Kao
Stars: Simon Yam, Joey Wong
Loosely based on the Japanese manga Crying Freeman, this movie tells the story of a Chinese man (Yam) who returns to England after he learns of the death of his adoptive Japanese father. Turns out pops was the head of the biggest Japanese gang in England and was snuffed out by a rival Chinese gang. Yam decides to go out for some street justice and begins killing the leaders of the Chinese gang. During one assassination attempt, a young photographer (Wong) takes some pictures of the scene. Since the Chinese don't know who is killing their leaders, they go after Wong. Yam must decide whether to go on with his "mission" or help protect Wong.
Killer's Romance came highly recommended to me -- and I could see why. Simon Yam looking suave and blasting the hell out of people? Sure, why not. But I feel that something fell apart in the execution of the movie. Of course, Yam looks cool and there are a few nice John Woo-inspired action scenes where he blows people away with various oversized handguns. It's just that there's not enough of it. All of the action scenes don't last over five minutes. I had my hopes up when just about at the one-hour mark (when usually HK action films start to get really good) a shootout in a mansion (ala A Better Tomorrow 2) is set up -- but again, everything's done in five minutes. Boo.
You might think the story or the non-action (dramatic/romantic) parts would add a little something, but they don't. Even though they seem to go on forever, they really add nothing to the film as a whole. By the end of the film, I knew nothing new about the characters, even though a great deal of the time of the movie is spent on exposition. Oh yeah, there's a really obvious plot twist at the end too. Bleah. And don't get me started about the romantic parts. Yeah, Simon Yam and Joey Wong make a lovely couple, but the romantic sequences use every trite cliché in the book, including a slow-motion sequence of them on horseback. Good lord, I've had enough.
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