You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Hitman

Jet Li is showcased to good effect in "The Hitman," an above-average blend of comedy and action that was his most recent release in East Asia prior to "Lethal Weapon 4."

With:
Fu - Jet Li Ngok Lo - Eric Tsang Kwan - Simon Yam Kiki - Gigi Leung Eiji - Keiji Sato With: Paul Rapovski, Ip Kwong-kim, Hideri Meiken, Timmy Ho.

Jet Li is showcased to good effect in “The Hitman,” an above-average blend of comedy and action that was his most recent release in East Asia prior to “Lethal Weapon 4.” Cast in a role he’s honed to perfection — the seemingly dumb mainlander manipulated by wiseacre Hongkies — Li plays well against local comic Eric Tsang and is given a range of opportunities to show his action smarts under helmer Tung Wai, an experienced stunt coordinator. Result took a reasonable HK$10 million ($1.5 million) locally this spring.

Following the assassination in Hong Kong of a sleazy Japanese businessman, various parties congregate at a meeting held by the overseers of the dead man’s Revenge Fund, a $100 million pot set up to find his killer. Fu (Li), a penniless mainlander, stumbles into the meeting by chance and is taken under the wing of Ngok Lo (Tsang), a fast-talking agent for professional hit men who proposes Fu as his rep to track down the killer.

In some of the funniest scenes, Ngok buys Fu a new wardrobe and coaches the rube in Hong Kong ways. Fu also strikes sparks with Ngok’s daughter, Kiki (Gigi Leung), a young lawyer who’s permanently embarrassed by her dad’s background. Meanwhile, Fu and Ngok have to stay one step ahead of Eiji (Keiji Sato), psycho son of the dead businessman, who is also after the assassin — reputed to be the mythical Killing Angel, already responsible for a series of vigilante murders of human trash.

Kitted out with B&W flashbacks and some stylish set pieces, pic is stronger on character and technically more honed than most directed by stunt coordinators. Though Tsang, as the idler Ngok, dominates all scenes he’s in, Li evinces a quiet control that hints at power in reserve, and his action bits are as much about agility as they are about fighting. (An early scene of him chasing a coin rolling down the street is a good, Jackie Chan-ish example.)

Structurally, pic veers in all directions and the script often does somersaults to reconcile some of its loose ends. The cute Leung is underemployed as the daughter, and Simon Yam, a star in his own right, often seems to be in a different movie, as a cop in charge of a “Rising Sun”-like investigation into the magnate’s death.

The Hitman

Hong Kong

Production: A Flea Market production, for Win's Entertainment/China Star Entertainment Group. Produced by Charles Heung. Executive producer, Gordon Chan. Directed by Tung Wai. Screenplay, Chan Hing-kar, Vincent Kuk, Cheng Kam-fu.

Crew: Camera (color), Arthur Wong; editor, Cheung Ka-fai; music, T. TWO; art director, Bill Lui; costumes, Shirley Chan; sound, in Dolby Digital; action directors, Tung, Ku Huan-chiu, Ling Chi-wah, Chan Siu-wah. Reviewed on videodisc, London, Aug. 2, 1998. (In Fant-Asia Film Festival, Montreal.) Running time: 103 MIN.

With: Fu - Jet Li Ngok Lo - Eric Tsang Kwan - Simon Yam Kiki - Gigi Leung Eiji - Keiji Sato With: Paul Rapovski, Ip Kwong-kim, Hideri Meiken, Timmy Ho.

More Film

  • Michael Giacchino'Incredibles 2' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Film Composer Michael Giacchino to Premiere Ballet in Seattle

    Jet Li is showcased to good effect in “The Hitman,” an above-average blend of comedy and action that was his most recent release in East Asia prior to “Lethal Weapon 4.” Cast in a role he’s honed to perfection — the seemingly dumb mainlander manipulated by wiseacre Hongkies — Li plays well against local comic […]

  • Skydance Media Hires Former Warner Bros.

    Skydance Media Hires Former Warner Bros. Executive Jun Oh

    Jet Li is showcased to good effect in “The Hitman,” an above-average blend of comedy and action that was his most recent release in East Asia prior to “Lethal Weapon 4.” Cast in a role he’s honed to perfection — the seemingly dumb mainlander manipulated by wiseacre Hongkies — Li plays well against local comic […]

  • DONNA GIGLIOTTI GLENN WEISS

    Oscars: Donna Gigliotti, Glenn Weiss to Produce Telecast

    Jet Li is showcased to good effect in “The Hitman,” an above-average blend of comedy and action that was his most recent release in East Asia prior to “Lethal Weapon 4.” Cast in a role he’s honed to perfection — the seemingly dumb mainlander manipulated by wiseacre Hongkies — Li plays well against local comic […]

  • Lebron James

    LeBron James to Produce 'Friday the 13th' Reboot

    Jet Li is showcased to good effect in “The Hitman,” an above-average blend of comedy and action that was his most recent release in East Asia prior to “Lethal Weapon 4.” Cast in a role he’s honed to perfection — the seemingly dumb mainlander manipulated by wiseacre Hongkies — Li plays well against local comic […]

  • Wonder Woman Sound Design

    'Wonder Woman 1984' Pushed Back Seven Months to 2020

    Jet Li is showcased to good effect in “The Hitman,” an above-average blend of comedy and action that was his most recent release in East Asia prior to “Lethal Weapon 4.” Cast in a role he’s honed to perfection — the seemingly dumb mainlander manipulated by wiseacre Hongkies — Li plays well against local comic […]

  • RED by Logan, , Writer -

    West End Hits 'Funny Girl,' 'Red' Coming to Theaters Thanks to Trafalgar Releasing

    Jet Li is showcased to good effect in “The Hitman,” an above-average blend of comedy and action that was his most recent release in East Asia prior to “Lethal Weapon 4.” Cast in a role he’s honed to perfection — the seemingly dumb mainlander manipulated by wiseacre Hongkies — Li plays well against local comic […]

  • Khashoggi Killing Prompts Vue International to

    Khashoggi Killing Prompts Vue to Delay Saudi Multiplex Plans (Report)

    Jet Li is showcased to good effect in “The Hitman,” an above-average blend of comedy and action that was his most recent release in East Asia prior to “Lethal Weapon 4.” Cast in a role he’s honed to perfection — the seemingly dumb mainlander manipulated by wiseacre Hongkies — Li plays well against local comic […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content