I would just like to preface this by saying I am a complete novice when it comes to John Woo films. This one just happens to be the first one of his films that I’ve ever watched, courtesy of HIFF, and I learned much more than I expected to. I’ll be honest; I’m very skeptical when it comes to the older style of movies, I just don’t like how off-putting the production style is compared to the modern storytelling I grew up with. Of course, there are some classic movies and tv shows that I enjoy with my whole heart (Tom & Jerry, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Goodfellas, is that too many?) but it’s been a while since one has really changed my perception of something/made me feel passionate about something new. When I sit down in a movie, I’m looking to be thrilled in a way, but there doesn’t necessarily have to be any action going on for me to be glued to the screen. If the dialogue is good enough, I’ll be glued to it regardless.
What John Woo accomplishes with his films is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen or experienced before, and I must say I wish his style of movies was more popular, with the yin and yang duet between the antagonist and the protagonist, who are both literally dancing around the girl they both love. It’s such impressive screenplay along with situational tension and emotional scenes, the movie really keeps you glued to the screen until the end. The classical 80’s-90’s gunfight scenes are all the more hilarious yet impressive, what with bodies flying everywhere and blood splattering out of entry GSW wounds that were definitely not where the gun was aiming in the scene, and how many bullets does a standard pistol carry anyways right? Who needs those small details anyways, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ART, all about the message of the movie, about understanding each other, even people from walks of life that may be very different that from your own.
An understanding between cultures, between people, is necessary if we as a people are going to survive further into the future; we must learn to accept one another for who each other is. I believe that is the message John Woo wanted to get across in this film, and I received that message clearly. I still have yet to watch any of his other films, but if any of his other main characters also have the same ethos have as in this story, I will definitely have to indulge.