Killer | Chicago Reader

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Chung Siu-hung's 1999 gangland thriller offers only a pale update of the intense male camaraderie that characterized John Woo's Hong Kong heyday. Tung (the perpetually sullen Jordan Chan) and his three childhood pals, mob hit men who use swords instead of guns, remain true to each other despite a botched assignment, a fickle girlfriend, a rival gang leader, and a treacherous overlord. Chung portrays this gang of four as an anachronism in a venal modern age, but his laconic characters talk as if they've seen too many Takeshi Kitano flicks, and the film's brutal fights, gang rape, and haphazard visuals fail to obscure its lack of emotional ballast. 85 min.

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