Sunday, July 12, 2009


So my soon to be wife sees this trailer on one of her Asian horror flicks and adds it to my netflix. Probably one of the best things she has ever done for me. It opened me to the world's new and improved John Woo; one of the coolest directors ever, Johnny To. I quickly added all To's films to my queue and let the Hong Kong asskicking commence.

Exiles is still my favorite film by To. It's about a guy who returns to a gang infested town with a bad past with all factions. So of course they send some goons to kill him. Well when the killers show up they have a show down that ends in a meal and sleep over. Reason being, they don't kill him yet because they want to help him do some jobs to get money for his soon to be widow and bastard child. The film is filled with this Confucian sense of duty, which makes these men's brotherhood top notch.

The Good: This group of badasses.

They know how to work together to get some killing done and they are pretty funny too.

The best part of To's Exiled is how its shot. It's not like half the franticly handheld crap that comes out of America in our current "action realism" age. No this film has finesse. Beautiful dolly moves and steadycam work that could make a first year film student rethink shooting his action scene handheld. This guy is a solid filmmaker. He's not quite the Asian version of James Cameron yet, but he is on his way.

The Bad: Asian gang stereotypes! Yes that's right there is a dude they call Boss and he's the bad guy. He actually doesn't come off as that bad of a guy, just a guy who wants shit done.

The Beautiful: There is a scene in a blackmarket hospital, which explodes into a Mexican standoff at point blank. To works the scene perfectly and it is one of the most beautiful dances of death I've ever seen. Slowmo dolly shots with 12 guns blaring as a room full of curtains dance to the hail of bullets.

The Badass: This guy here is a complete badass. He gave me that feeling I got when Chow Yun-Fat slides down the banister with two pistols and a tooth pick in his mouth in Hard Boiled. It's that HOLY SHIT AM I REALLY SEEING THIS? feelin. Basically the guy has a sniper rifle, aviators, and a cigarette. I don't want to ruin how incredibly cool this dude is and what he does, but you have to see it.

Basically find this movie, buy it, rent it, download it. It's a must see.