There are two clear influences which worked as firing force to bring out the most poetic action film ever made in Hong Kong cinema. Though John Woo dedicated this film to Martin Scorsese; in style and manner it all represent Jean Pierre Melville’s brilliant French crime classic ‘Le Samourai’. Woo portrayed young and dashing Chow Yun-Fat as an enigmatic Alain Delon of
Hong Kong cinema. He’s a professional, intelligent
criminal and man of his own codes and principles. He’s no petty cold blooded
assassin but a killer with a compassionate conscience, caring lover who loves
to visit chapel just because no place in the world seems as quiet as it. After
completing the assignment to kill a high profile man, he’s double crossed by his
mob leader and followed by a sniffing cop played wonderfully by Danny Lee. He
has a last job to perform, to get the money from now hostile boss and his
syndicate to get his beloved’s lost eyes in form of redemption.
One may see many trademarks of Woo here which he continued displaying in his later cinema too; fluttering doves, over the top violence, hyperkinetic and slow motion action and stunts giving you the experience of watching a film that made the genre proud of. If mind-blowing climax action in the chapel is awesome than the end where two blind lovers seeking each other in their last meeting is something so poignant moment to witness in the same film. I found Woo at his fine story telling too; mixing elements of friendship, loyalty, romance and fate in a film which is out and out filled with action.