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|     review    |     notes     |     awards     |     availability     | "This will hurt you more than it hurts me..."
Jet Li brings out the belt
Chinese: 殺手之王
Year: 1998
Director: Stephen Tung Wai
Producer: Gordon Chan Car-Seung
Writer: Chan Hing-Kai, Vincent Kok Tak-Chiu
Cast: Jet Li Lian-Jie, Eric Tsang Chi-Wai, Simon Yam Tat-Wah, Gigi Leung Wing-Kei, Ng Chi-Hung, John Ching Tung
The Skinny: Uncharacteristically low-key for a Jet Li film, this action-comedy still manages to entertain and even charm with its action and sense of humor. The action sequences aren't bad, either.
by Kozo:

Jet Liís latest is a curious film. Itís an action comedy about Fu (Jet), an ex-soldier who gets hired by a low-rent triad (Eric Tsang) to chase a $100 million dollar hit: to kill the King of Assassins, who was responsible for the murder of a powerful Japanese crimelord. Thing is, everyone and their brother is after the reward, including the Japanese guyís son, whoís damn intent on getting that 100 million for himself.

Fu seems to have the ability to get the job done, but heís too damn nice, which is a perfect fit for Jet Li the actor. This is actually the best character Jet Li has played in a while, eschewing his humorless acting for a gentler personality. This film effectively dodges the previously inescapable Jet Li bullet: no personality. Eric Tsang and Jet Li make a good team, with Tsang edging Li in the acting department. However, Li isnít too bad, and we hear his real voice for the first time.

Gigi Leung shows up as Tsangís daughter, a budding lawyer who takes a small shine to Fu. As always, sheís incredibly cute but she doesnít do all that much. Simon Yam is on board as the cop intent on catching all the hitmen entering HK. There are some good action sequences that are weighed down by a sometimes confusing and slow plot. But, this film has a definite HK charm that it deserves credit for. This isnít a thrill-a-minute exercise, but itís quite worthwhile, especially for the chemistry between the actors. (Kozo 1998)

Notes: • In 2002, Hitman was hijacked to the United States by Columbia/Tri-Star, who went the Disney route and cut, dubbed and retitled the film Contract Killer.
Awards: 18th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Nomination - Best Action Design (Stephen Tung Wai)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Kam & Ronson
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
International Language Version
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd.

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