Fulltime Killer

Fulltime Killer


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The cult of the assassin continues. This one is intriguing, only because the Chinese protagonist, who speaks Japanese and English, likes nothing better than watching violent action pictures and stealing moves from them.

Tok (Andy Lau) is so vain, you cannot believe he's still alive, constantly showing off about his job and how good he is at it. He makes no attempt to disguise himself when taking out a bloated businessman in the street. Once, he plays a joke and shoots five men in a car on a busy thoroughfare, while wearing a Bill Clinton mask.

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It's all about style with him, as it is with the two directors. This is not a film to be taken seriously. Tok has a certain flair, or so he likes to think, which is why he is only too delighted to be seen going about his murderous business in slow motion. He appreciates the opportunity to demonstrate the one-handed shotgun technique.

There is a story of sorts, which hangs off the incidents of choreographed mayhem, but don't try to make sense of it. Tok has a rival for the title, Hitman Supremo, and his name is O (Takashi Sorimachi). They share the same girlfriend (Kelly Lin), apparently, even though O is quiet, shy, modest and disinterested in celebrity.

Eventually, they will have a showdown, but, by then, your senses are as mushy as peas and you don't care who fires the winning shot. The arty camerawork has destroyed any semblance of humanity and the editor cannot resist quickfire cuts to energise an already frenetic situation.

This is a Hong Kong flick in love with itself. You can't help but admire the naked narcissism. After all, wasn't it Hollywood that invented the catch phrase, "Flaunt it!"?

Reviewed on: 26 Jun 2003
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Hong Kong action-packed story of two hitmen who share the same girl.
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Read more Fulltime Killer reviews:

Jennie Kermode ***1/2

Director: Johnny To, Wai Ka-Fai

Writer: Joey O'Bryan, Wai Ka-Fai, based on the novel by Ho Cheung Ping

Starring: Andy Lau, Takashi Sorimachi, Simon Yam, Kelly Lin, Cherrie Ying

Year: 2001

Runtime: 102 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: Hong Kong


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