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Article

Contract Killer

Posted on

Contract Killer

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
98 minutes
performer:
Jet Li, Simon Yam, Eric Tsang
director:
Wei Tung
author:
Hing-Ka Chan, Kam Fu Cheng
genre:
ActionAdventure

We gave it a D

An unremarkable Hong Kong actioner (originally released as The Hitman) that’s notable for two reasons. First is its I’m-pretty-sure-it’s-a-comedy plot involving: a lovably gruff con man who befriends a clueless young hitman (played by an equally clueless Jet Li); a vengeful yakuza who scarfs down the ashes of his dead grandfather; and a hulking henchman who wears rings that deliver incapacitating blasts of psychedelic light. But stranger still is the conviction with which director Tung Wai eradicates every bit of artistry from Li’s fight scenes, giving the climactic rumble all the delirious energy of a Senate hearing — and turning the nimble star into a lost action hero. Fans of the genre will gladly let Contract expire.