The Killer

The Killer ★★★★

72/100

Man, I really didn't remember this ending so bleakly. And it makes a huge difference—tack on a conventional denooeyment ("that's not how it's pronounced"), as Woo had reportedly planned, and it would feel much more frivolous/commonplace, just a series of badass poses that amount to symbolic 69. (Another reason to hate Killer Joe: I'm now involuntarily picturing Chow and Lee standing toe-to-toe, arms outstretched, shoving a KFC drumstick into each other's faces.) Wish I knew or could easily research whether Woo truly invented some of the now-classic HK action moves for this film, e.g. Chow kicking a table in order to flip a gun resting on its far side into his hand (which turned up again as recently as Lockout). Not as emotionally visceral as Bullet in the Head or as flat-out insane as Hard-Boiled, if I can trust my memory (it's been forever since I've seen any of these), but that abrupt plummet into despair reverberates backward somehow.