Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Zoom Lens 

Wednesday, May 6 1998
Comments
Hitman
A terrifically funny Hong Kong thriller with Jet Li as a shy bumpkin from the mainland trying to make a living in a crew of low-rent hit men. When a mysterious super-hit man known as the "King of Killers" assassinates a Japanese magnate, the magnate's "Revenge Fund" of $100 million kicks in, to go to the man who kills his assassin. One of the movie's very clever riffs is the corporatization of killing-for-hire -- the Tsukamoto Revenge Fund is run just like an investment portfolio, with a fund manager and board of directors. Li joins in on the international race to win this prize, aided by his new agent (every assassin has an agent, of course), played by Eric Tsang, a rascal who wears eight pagers and thinks like a Hollywood player. The movie has plenty of plot backflips, some positively ingenious action sequences, and the asset of Li's low-key charm, but Tsang, as he often does, simply takes the movie and runs. He's grown into one of Hong Kong's great character actors, and he swaggers through Hitman with tremendous relish. With many of Hong Kong's top people (including Jet Li, to be seen soon in Lethal Weapon 4) defecting to Hollywood, Tsang -- sort of a Chinese Danny DeVito -- may just be Hong Kong's most charismatic star.

-- Tod Booth

Hitman opens Friday, May 8, at the Four Star.

About The Author

Tod Booth

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"