One of the best action movies ever made knows exactly when and how to turn into blood-soaked carnage.

via Golden Princess Film Production

Purists will tell you that CGI gore is one of the worst things that can happen to R-rated action cinema, and they’re probably right. Few things are more viscerally exciting and adrenaline-pumping than a cacophony of squibs exploding on cue, and few movies have done it better than John Woo’s masterpiece. The murderer.

While its mileage may vary as to whether or not it’s Woo’s best contribution to the genre, the fact that he needs to debate the merits of a better tomorrow, Hardand face/off To name just three, it only goes to show what a seismic impact the dove-obsessed orchestrator of ballet on-screen violence has had on the big screen by running and gunning.

the killer 1989
via Golden Princess Film Production

The final act of The murderer stands out from the pack, however, with Chow Yun-fat’s assassin Ah Jong and Danny Lee’s detective Li Ying forced to put their differences aside to fight a shared enemy. An extended shootout that’s comfortably one of the best bullet-riddled sets ever committed to celluloid, the camerawork and explosive pyrotechnics work perfectly in sync to deliver a heart-stopping showdown for the ages.

To that end, a Reddit thread commenting on The murderer and his strategic use of blood has opened the floodgates for a new wave of praise. Even though there’s a sky-high body count and no shortage of spilled claret, it never feels excessive, unnecessary, or over-the-top, even if the climactic showdown isn’t exactly rooted in some solid, gritty reality.

Soon; The murderer it still rules, and the incredible volume of blood squibs is just one of the many reasons why, though one element of its greatness is often overlooked.

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