Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Once A Thief - 1991
The story is about three orphans who have been quasi-adopted by, get this, both a crime boss and a police officer. They train to be thieves, but eventually want to get out of their life of crime. All the basic things you want out of a John Woo movie are here - big action set pieces, shoot outs, flashy cinematography, doves, fire, reflections... but you also get a delightfully weird romantic triangle, and comedy that veers between slapstick and dry wit at a moment's notice. And, it stars Chow Yun-Fat, who I will watch in pretty much anything...
The film is just so different than a lot of Woo's other works that many people may find it hard to believe that the man who brought us "Face/Off" would get caught up in what can only be described as "The Thomas Crown Affair" meets "Kung Fu Hustle" but Woo's a very talented and flexible guy. Don't believe me? Check out his mega-epic period film "Red Cliff," which was gorgeous to look at and amazingly constructed. Sadly, it seems like Woo's left Hollywood for good, but at least he's still making movies.