Hard Boiled (1992)

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Hard Boiled is a 1992 Hong Kong action film written and directed by John Woo, and starring Chow Yun-fat as Inspector "Tequila" Yuen, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai as Alan an undercover cop, and Anthony Wong as Johnny Wong, a leader of the criminal triads. The film features Tequila, whose partner (Bowie Lam) is killed in a tea house gunfight with a small army of gangsters. One of the mob's high ranking assassins is the undercover cop Tony, who must team up with Tequila for their common pursuit of taking down Wong's crime syndicate. The film leads up to a climax in a hospital, where the two must rescue innocent civilians and new born babies from the maternity ward while fighting off dozens of mob hitmen.

Hard Boiled was John Woo's last Hong Kong film before his transition to Hollywood. After making films that glamorized gangsters (and receiving criticism for doing so), Woo wanted to make a Dirty Harry styled film to glamorize the police. After the death of screenwriter Barry Wong, the film's screenplay underwent constant changes during filming. New characters such as Mad Dog and Mr. Woo were introduced, while the original plotline of a baby poisoning psychopath was cut.

The film was released in Hong Kong in 1992 to generally positive audience reception, but it was not as commercially successful as Woo's previous action films, such as A Better Tomorrow and The Killer. Reception from western critics was much more positive; many critics and film scholars have come to proclaim its action scenes as among the best ever filmed.