A Taste of Killing and Romance (1994)

Directed by
Very stylish, definitely above average
Reviewed by Simon on 2002-05-24

Even killers need love! Apparently. Andy Lau and Anita Yuen are both killers, who happen to meet and fall in love. Andy is the top ranked killer in town, but poor Anita hasn't the slightest clue as to his real identity. Everybody knows that a killer who fails is a dead killer, so when new man Andy suddenly has a change of heart about his profession, he and Anita end up 2 against the world with both the assassin's guild (in the form of Mark Cheng and Christine Ng) and the cops (led by Waise Lee) after them.

This appears to have been the only movie ever directed by Veronica Chan, which is strange because it's a movie that shows considerable directorial flair. The plot is obviously full of holes in that most charming Hong Kong way, but it is all put together very stylishly. There's some great camerawork and choreography, a very sharp look to the whole thing, and a focussed pursuit of the story that hides some of the holes in the script. Perhaps it's just that the HK industry wasn't comfortable with a girl making these kind of movies so well - especially since it's a movie that contains some quite shocking violence in places. I can't think of many other female directors that would make a movie like this.

Which is a shame, because it's a jolly good movie for the most part. Not perfect, but definitely above average for the genre and time. It actually reminded me a lot of A War Named Desire, so it could be said to have been well ahead of the game. Killers for hire is a topic that has truly been mined to death by movies, so it's nice when one still manages to impress as unique and interesting... and still delivering some pretty tasty bullet ballet for that action movie fix.

Worth seeking out!