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Disappointed with Fulltime Killer (spoiler)

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Disappointed with Fulltime Killer (spoiler)

Old 10-03-01, 05:05 PM
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Disappointed with Fulltime Killer (spoiler)

Just got the dvd of Johnnie To's Fulltime Killer. I thought the case was quite original and made me look much more forward into watching it. I won't dwell into the technical aspects of the dvd since I don't really have bragging rights to an exceptional A/V system.

I'll get into the story though which left me kinda frustrated.

Spoilers ahead...








The film starts out focusing on two top hired assassins. Though I found the love triangle a little out of place, I think it was done to place more depth into the characters.

Johnnie To's direction attempts to do some John Woo stuff with prolonged gunfights, an opposite end to what he did with "The Mission." What threw the movie off totally for me was that the quarter of the film suddenly shifts attention to Simon Yam's police character being so obsessed with these two killers. He ends up being a bit psychotic and writing a book about them.

What the hell??? The film never even introduced Yam's character as an aspiring writer, much less a person obsesses about the two assassins except about doing his job as a cop.

I do realize most of To's action-drama films such as "A Hero Never Dies," or "The Longest Nite" throws some unexpected twists to the story. I enjoyed his previous works since the twists complement the film even more. Fulltime Killer, though, never really works at the end.
Old 10-03-01, 11:29 PM
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You need to watch the movie again, and pay attention to Simon Yam's character a little bit more... He is not an aspiring writer.... He says why we needs to write the book... it's part of the narration (or subtitles, if you prefer).

There really wasn't much of a love triangle.... Tak and the girl were seeing each other, but O and the girl were not... She was just attracted to the "exciting" life of the hitmen, but only tak made the move.

Tak's kills are based on movies, and Johnny To does do slo-mo in his movies.. not everything is John Woo....


J.T.
Old 10-04-01, 03:38 AM
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There was definately a love triange... she had become infatuated with "O." Initially, she was trying to investigate the disappearance of her only friend in HK and was intrigued and drawn in to his life. Tak came along and wooed her because he paid attention to her and she had someone to talk to... something "O" was never there for. I felt like the film sort of unravelled at the end as well. The narrative was primarily with the three main characters and I didn't feel they developed Yam's character enough for him to deserve his own narrative. It felt like the author of the film ran into trouble coming up with an ending himself... much like the Yam did when he was writing the book. Perhaps it should've ended there with the gunshot to the head. The actual ending did wrap up an item or two though - like what became of the snoopies, but that wasn't something I needed to know and I could've been satisfied drawing my own conclusions. The finale fight seemed a bit on the cheesey side and aside from all that - I don't think Tak should've won. Andy Lau should die at the end of all his films...

I thought the pacing was good and the direction was good and the acting was good as well. The story had a few weak spots, but was good overall and the action was good (albeit a little flamboyant). I also kinda felt that Yam's psychosis was a bit over the top with the shaking and the catatonic stares... perhaps if they had developed his character more, I'd care more or at least be able to believe that he could go crazy over something like seeing Tak disappear.
Old 11-15-01, 10:58 AM
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Watched Fulltime Killer last night. I thought it was a decent movie, but yes, faltered a bit near the end. Not a bad movie though. Like Trigger said, Yam's (Detective Lee) character role felt weird when the focus shifted to him... You think maybe the audience is just supposed to know/assume/infer that the pressures and obsession Lee has with tracking these guys for a couple of years would wear on him? And then the injury to his partner adding guilt or something. (or did she die?, I don't recall any info given on her after the ambulance ride during which they were respirating her? maybe she died in ambulance and I missed a line or two of subs too...?).
Occasionally the visuals reminded me to Time & Tide...

Score: Right around 7.0/10

Oh yeah, Kelly Lin is nice too
(hey Trigger, who's g/f is she...?)

cheers,
Gabe
Old 11-15-01, 12:21 PM
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weird, it's like deja vu after watching this and time and tide, most people like both movies, but I just felt like something was missing at the end. I felt like it could have been better, but those two movies was still enjoyable, and still sit on my dvd rack, the case alone pays for the purchase price of full time killer, plus the lady in chinatown gave me a free poster, looks kool.
Old 11-15-01, 01:17 PM
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Johnnie To makes strange action scenes. They feel "off". There's always a subdued and detached air to the scenes which makes it hard to get into them. Perhaps it's the music? But even with FTK, which had more traditional action scenes with a traditional score, there was always a sense that these scenes would be cooler and more exciting in the hands of a different director. The apartment shootout and parking lot sniper hit would've probably been amazing in the hands of, say, Gordon Chan, but they just played a bit flat in the movie.

Don't get me wrong, I like To's films quite a bit. I'm just saying he's not the action specialist that sometimes the press or fans make him out to be.
Old 11-15-01, 02:35 PM
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ipkevin,
Gordan Chan did do the sniper scene in 2000 A.D., and yes, the 2000 A.D. version was better, but different!

Still, I enjoyed Fulltime Killer a lot, especially since I saw it in a huge theatre during the Toronto Film Festival, where Johnny To, Wai Ka Fai, Simon Yam and Andy Lau were present!


J.T.
Old 11-15-01, 08:02 PM
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I watched FTK with about 5 of my friends and the whole way through we were navigating each other through the story. So by the end we were just talking about the plot and took us about 10 minutes to get the whole thing. Even though I was watching it for the third time, it was especially a blast just to be about to comprehend the story(I gotta admit I didn't really "get" it the first time through)and know every character's motives. Supposedly, Simon Yam's character's partner and Simon Yam's character had a crush on each other, so I guess he took her death especially hard and made him go all psychotic. But I still thought they didn't develop the cops' stories to really understand their point of view. Anyway, if you planned to watch it again, make sure you watch it with a couple of friends ready to discuss, I'm sure you'll have a better time than when you watched it alone.
Old 11-16-01, 11:43 AM
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I was also a little disappointed with FTK. As others have noted, the ending was a little rough, and the movie doesn't develop Yam's character enough; it wouldn't have been a big deal, if the movie hadn't switched focus to his character at the end. Also, the plot seemed disjointed in points, and could have flowed better, but not too bad.

I find the comparisons to T&T interesting. I guess some of the angles and use of camera work is similar, but I felt that the sequences in T&T seemed cleaner and more well-done.

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