Hard Boiled (辣手神探), dir. John Woo (吴宇森). Golden Princess Film Production. 1992.
Written and directed by Cantonese filmmaker John Woo, renowned for his martial arts movies, Hard Boiled is a classic action film starring Chow Yun-fat as Inspector “Tequila” Yuen, Tony Leung Chiu-wai as undercover cop Alan, and Anthony Wong as Johnny Wong, a powerful gang leader. To battle the strength of Wong’s criminal triads, “Tequila” and Alan are forced to unite forces in interest of saving civilians.
Hard Boiled marked the end of Woo’s career in the Hong Kong film industry, as well as a response to criticism of his proclivity for glamorizing gangsters through its heroic portrayals of Alan and “Tequila.” Though it was not as commercially successful in Hong Kong as Woo’s previous martial arts films, it was well-received by Western critics and audiences, with exceptional praise for the quick-paced cinematography.