Legendary Action Directors #1:
At long last, we have reached the ultimate spot, the action director who gives meaning to the very word legendary. The Master, The King, The Emperor: ladies and gentleman, I present to you the undisputed God of Action Cinema, John Woo! Never in cinematic history have action sequences been filmed with such exquisite precision as anything in Woo's catalogue. Beginning his career in the mid 70s and dabbling in the martial arts genre briefly, Woo wouldn't hit the ground running until 1986 with his bloody crime thriller A Better Tomorrow, starring his mainstay Chow Yun-Fat. A sequel followed the year after, but Woo would finally get international recognition for his hitman-with-morals tale The Killer in 1989. He would make his most bold and influential film Hard Boiled in 1992 before leaving Hong Kong cinema behind for a shot at Hollywood, where he has made memorable projects such as his debut Hard Target (1993) starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Broken Arrow (1996), and what is considered by many to be his strongest Western feature yet, Face/Off (1997). Furious and elaborately choreographed gunplay dominate Woo's scenes, to the point where the phrase Heroic Bloodshed was coined from his films. As brutal and bloody as they are, there is something innately beautiful about how John Woo shoots his films, hence why he is crowned our King LAD! Action cinema owes a sizeable debt to John Woo, and all modern action filmmakers should certainly take inspiration from him. Thank you Mr Woo for your incredibme contribution to the greatest film genre in history, and thank you all who have joined us on this countdown!
Career Highlight: Hard Boiled (1992)
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