Two killers -- former friends split by the ordeals of life. One turns to a life of crime. The other, to law enforcement. Each transforms into a human weapon and they face off in slow motion. Welcome to the world of... [more]
Two killers -- former friends split by the ordeals of life. One turns to a life of crime. The other, to law enforcement. Each transforms into a human weapon and they face off in slow motion. Welcome to the world of filmmaker John Woo, a master of hyper-stylized action flicks, who proffers "heroic bloodshed" in intricately choreographed, wonderfully exuberant, ultraviolent scenes that play like apocalyptic ballet.
Born in mainland China but raised in Hong Kong, Woo came from a poor family and immersed himself from an early age in the fantasy of Western cinema, in particular, the work of Sam Peckinpah, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, and Jean-Pierre Melville. In his prolific career, Woo has done everything from comedy to romance, but it is his signature-style action films that have set him apart in cinema. Action extravaganzas such as "A Better Tomorrow" (1986) and "The Killer" (1989) prompted American director Sam Raimi to compare Woo's gift with Hitchcock's mastery of suspense, and Quentin Tarantino to comment that Woo can direct action scenes "like Michelangeo can paint ceilings!" Woo has often worked with martial arts experts, employing fight choreographer Jackie Chan in his debut film "The Young Dragons" (1975), and Hong Kong action stars Chow Yun-Fat and Leslie Chung in later films.
The release of 1993's "Hard Target," made him the first Asian director to make a mainstream Hollywood film, and he has been churning out American action flicks with varied success ever since. Thanks to Woo films "Broken Arrow" and "Face-Off," American actors John Travolta and Nick Cage have received a second life in Hollywood as action heroes. [show less]