Hitman
'An Introduction To HKL'

HONG KONG LEGENDS
 
Starring:
Directed By:
Stephen Tung
Year:
1998
Run Time:
100 mins
Producer: Hong Kong Legends
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Languages:
CANTONESE 2.0, English 2.0
Subtitles:
English, Dutch
W/S Subtitles:
Yes
Ratio:
1.85:1 Anamorphic
Region:
PAL 2 & 4
Genre:
Action/Thriller/Gun-play - 18 (UK)
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MOVIE
8/10

Containing one of their early releases, a promotional feature, a set of trailers, and a ridiculously low asking price, HKL bring you a hugely attractive offering.
Hitman, starring Jet Lee, is bundled with the disc, giving you yet another reason to pick it up.

In a departure from his usual stern patriarchal martial arts expert roles, Jet spreads his acting wings in this hugely enjoyable outing.
Playing the role of a Mainland Chinese immigrant scraping his pennies together in any way he can, Lee offers up a funny and likeable character for the story to revolve around.
Although anyone with half a brain will realise the plot's twist within the first twenty minutes, the remaining hour is still well worth sticking with.

Those looking for "My Father Is a Hero"-style action may be disappointed, as the bulk of the film follows Jet and his newly acquired "manager" (played by Eric Tsang) as they attempt to track down the murderer of a Japanese businessman.
A handful of gripping fight scenes are featured, which although don't show Jet doing anything particularly taxing, do keep the story rolling along.
The very fact we care about Jet's character make things far more tense than if he were the Arnie-esque "all action, unbeatable hero".

Eric Tsang also gives a superb performance, adding some pathos and comedy to the film, without going overboard.
In fact, Lee and Tsang's scenes together are so well handled that the moments of drama and feeling resonate more so than in other films of their genre.

The usual payoff action sequence at the film's conclusion is an impressively taut affair, with Jet facing off against a huge Western henchman and a Katana-wielding villain.

Suspend your disbelief at the plotting, enjoy the performances, and reap the rewards.

PICTURE
8/10

An at times grainy image exhibits some very noticeable dust and marks midway through, but is otherwise highly detailed.
Colour is good, and little to no artifacting is apparent.
Even a well-placed chapter-stop finds its way into the mix, making this a very pleasing visual presentation

SOUND
7/10