Fulltime Killer
Owen Gleiberman
March 28, 2003 AT 05:00 AM EST

Fulltime Killer

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
101 minutes
Limited Release Date
03/21/03
performer
Andy Lau, Kelly Lin, Takashi Sorimachi
director
Johnnie To
distributor
Palm
author
Wai Ka-fai, Joseph O'Bryan
genre
Foreign Language, ActionAdventure

We gave it a C

On a downtown street, a Chinese assassin in a rubber Bill Clinton mask strolls along in slow motion. He fires a shotgun, killing four victims as the soundtrack twitters with ironic classical music. Recognize the movie reference? It’s ”Point Break,” it’s ”Heat,” it’s ”A Clockwork Orange,” it’s a dozen of De Palma’s lyrical gunfests. What it isn’t is a sequence that serves any purpose — that is, apart from fulfilling the desire of codirectors Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai to shoot it. In Fulltime Killer, To and Ka-Fai gather up their favorite American action clichés and try to inflate them into peak moments. Their bloodbath enthusiasm is, every so often, contagious, but the tale of Tok (Andy Lau), a sleek sociopath on the trail of O (Takashi Sorimachi), the most legendary of Asian hitmen, is too scattershot to take hold.

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