dir: Tsui Hark
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Some directors win their way back into our good graces by making a transformative leap in their filmmaking in order to deliver a great film after decades of slumming. Other directors delight or depress us by consistently putting out the same kind of film, year after year, Woody, decade after decade.
Other directors win us over again by going way back in style and intent, and delivering the kind of flick they delivered way back when they were still making good flicks.
Tsui Hark’s great claim to fame is, in my opinion, being part of that new wave of Hong Kong film in the late 80s – early 90s which reminded the rest of the world that Hong Kong was still making some awesome action flicks. Along with the John Woo flicks The Killer and Hard Boiled, Hark’s Once Upon a Time in China flicks were part of that vanguard reinvading the West with hyperactive action and a complete disregard for the safety of stuntpeople that blew the tender sensibilities of audiences away all over again.
Of course, with success comes money, hookers and moving to Hollywood to make horrible flicks with Jean Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman, which will kill your career if there’s any justice in the universe.