The Killer – GTGC #215


Dalton and Dustin head to Hong Kong to break open this action movie classic.

The Killer (1989)
The standard start to any GTGC recording.


Warning: Action Movie Fan-boying Ahead!

We have a great time talking about this early John Woo film in which we see the first John Woo’s famous doves. Before we get to the analysis and figure out what (if anything) they may mean we have to recognize these birds have become a major action cinema icon. As such, this week’s game is our favorite action cinema iconography. There are lots of great images and trope used in action cinema, and we have a blast talking.

Once we get down to business, the conversation is pretty free-wheeling. First we discuss this film as a distinctively Hong Kong film as opposed to action movies from mainland China. We then shift over to a conversation about the female lead Jenny. We decide quickly that she is not so much a lead and more or less a plot device and that leaves both of us decidedly unhappy. That said, we move on to a discussion about the use of physical handicaps in Asian film, especially of the blind or one-handed swordsman variety which leads us to one of our favorite topics: the myth of redemptive violence. Here we become much happier with the film as we find its blend of Catholic and Buddhist iconography to provide an excellent counter-narrative to the myth and a great handle to discuss the globalization of action films. All in all we had a great time and invite you all to join in!

Listen Now to The Killer:


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