Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fulltime Killer review

Tok (Andy Lau), a highly skilled eccentric assassin is after the #1 hitman spot for Asia in order to become a living legend. Occupying the spot is O (Takashi Sorimachi), the fundamental opposite of Tok, as a solemn and serious killer insightfully exploring the workings of his job. Both seem to fall for Chin (Kelly Lin), while dealing with their rivalry and the full-forced pursuit of the police led by Lee (Simon Yam).

The Good?
This movie is a clear love letter from Johnnie To and Wai Ka Fai to their favorite action films. The action is a joy to watch as they approach these scenes with enthusiasm that isn’t necessarily fresh with all the slow motion action, blaring classical scores and standard police shoot-out settings. But they love what they are doing and they get it right.

Lau and Sorimachi portray their characters distinctively. Lau captures his character’s ecstasy when he succeeds at his job, while Sorimachi counters with a stolid, seasoned assassin’s look .

The Bad?
Kelly Lin as Chin is supposed to be the connecting character, the love that ties both assassins together and creates tension with a triangle. While the two assassins are great on their own, Lin’s wooden performance makes their love for her completely unbelievable. There’s no chemistry, whatsoever. In the middle of the film, one of the characters outright says that she has transformed from her quiet, unemotional demeanor. But nope! She’s consistently boring.

The plot takes some pretty embarrassing turns to tie up lose ends and wrap up the story. Simon Yam’s cop character suddenly takes the main role as he begins to write a novel based on the events of the film. He even talks about making it into a film and how he tritely struggles to “end a story when it hasn’t ended.”

The plot begins with a great premise, but it’s disappointing as it just gradually goes downhill from there.


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