Eric Wolfram's Writing, Review of Fulltime Killer

Fulltime Killer

Directed by Johnnie To and Wai Ka Fai

You see blood early in this film as Fulltime Killers delivers on it's promise. Within three minutes of the opening credits, during a slow motion kill sequence in a crowed Hong Kong train station, nine people are snuffed out with a gun, a shot gun, and a bag of grenades.

This exhausting pace of killing is maintained for the full 100 minutes of the film, as two Fulltime Killers become involved with a mysterious "ordinary girl" from Japan.

I enjoyed the wonderful modern style of roving camera work featured in this film. The technical effects were interesting to watch, even if some of them are redundant spectacles of cinematography and nothing more. Still, they worked, in a self mocking sort of way, and the camera was executed with professional excellence.

Fulltime Killers satires other films of this kill-genre, and at times, the charactures openly admit to being copies of scenes from other Hollywood movies. Many of the scenes are over-the-top, for instance, a killer shoots five guys, and decides to kill the last by shooting him in both knee caps and than injecting him with a syringe full of nicotine. The whole time, classical operetta music swells in the back ground.

And it was ironic to watch one of the killers go on a bloody spree while wearing a mask of Bill Clinton -- I was amused on some level. Maybe the movie had more than one level. If it did, I certainly all but missed it. In many ways, the story seamed like a lazy excuse for a blood bath.

But in other ways, the movie really worked. The narration kept the story moving forward.

Country: Hong Kong
Year: 2001
Run Time: 100 minutes
Cast: Andy Lau, Takashi Sorimachi, Simon Yam, Kelly Lin, Cherrie Ying
Producer: Emily Chan, Bob Wong, Shirley Lau, Esther Ko
Editor: David Richardson
Cinematographer: Cheung Siu Keung
Screenwriter: Wai Ka Fai, Joseph O’Bryan

This Film Was Viewed at the 45th San Francisco International Film Festival

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