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Fulltime Killer

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Poster for the movie "Fulltime Killer"

Fulltime Killer (2001)

102 min - Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller - 3 August 2001
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Professional assassin O has resided in an isolated world of killing and loneliness. But his life begins to change once he meets the innocent Chin, hired to clean O's apartment. However, soon the flamboyent and reckless Tok enters Chin's life with a mission--to unveil O's identity and usurp his place as the number one sharp-shooting assassin in the game.

Director:  Johnnie To, Wai Ka-Fai

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Storyline

Professional assassin O has resided in an isolated world of killing and loneliness. But his life begins to change once he meets the innocent Chin, hired to clean O's apartment. However, soon the flamboyent and reckless Tok enters Chin's life with a mission--to unveil O's identity and usurp his place as the number one sharp-shooting assassin in the game.


Collections: Johnnie To, Wai Ka-Fai

Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   Hong Kong
Release Date:  3 August 2001

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Company Credits

Technical Specs

Runtime:  1 h 42 min

Two professional hitmen – a jaded Japanese and a cocksure Cantonese – lock gun barrels in FULLTIME KILLER, Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai’s latest high-octane plunge into pop gangster psychology.

More playful than To’s earlier, similarly-themed A HERO NEVER DIES, this Andy Lau showcase more often recalls To’s previous teaming with the star, RUNNING OUT OF TIME, rather than of-a-piece classics like THE LONGEST NITE and THE MISSION. Freely adapted from a bestselling 1998 novel by Edmond Pang, film shows all the imprints of co-scripter/director Wai Ka-fai in its self-mythologizing take on gangster heroics. Antsy opening, zooming from Kuala Lumpur and the River Kwai to Singapore and Pusan, sets up the leading characters – cool professional O and larky film fan Lok Tat-wah – as they go about their business. A relative newcomer on the scene, Tat is anxious to prove he’s “better than O” and goad him into a showdown. In Hong Kong, Tat romances Chin, a Taiwanese working in a Japanese vidstore who cleans O’s apartment. He also sends O an email, baiting him: “The further you run from death, the closer you get.” Meanwhile, O has other annoyances, with Interpol cop Albert Lee and his assistant Gigi on his tail. Lau, who also co-produced through his company Teamwork, applies his boyish charm full-throttle to the character of Tat, calmly interrupting a drink with Chin to take out a target in full daylight and completely losing it when he thinks people aren’t taking him seriously. In comparison, Sorimachi is all tightly coiled business as O. However, pic’s unexpected star turn comes from Yam who in the final 20 minutes comes into his own. Not for the first time in a Wai script, the movie takes a sudden left turn at the 75-minute point, just when the main story seems finished, completely shifting the goal posts and putting Yam’s character centerstage.

Derek Elley

Thanks to Far East Film Festival