Blast action hero

We’re behind a pillar. Sorry - Hollywood action hero Chow Yun-Fat is behind a pillar, face grim, eyes narrowed and hands gripping dual Beretta pistols. As moonlight bathes the museum, gloomily illuminating the looming dinosaur skeleton above, we hear the muffle of incoming footsteps. Hopelessly outnumbered, desperately low on health, we swing into the open and - in a few violent stabs of PS3’s Sixaxis pad - erupt into a spiraling slow-motion weave of bullets and trace-lines, spinning and firing with impossible accuracy in all directions at once. Our enemies collapse to the floor theatrically like an elaborate puppet display. A brief orchestral flourish blows upon the air. A set of doves flutter upwards…

Sounds a bit over the top, right? Well, it would if you didn’t know that the man behind the action was John Woo, master of excessive Hong Kong action. His films - both in the East and, more recently, in Hollywood - have redefined on-screen violence with super-stylized gunplay and iconic posturing. Well that and doves - nothing marks out a director who takes violence seriously more than the ritualistic release of doves after a killing spree. And none of Woo’s films typifies these elements more than Hard-Boiled, the 1992 flick starring Chow Yun-Fat as the indestructible Inspector Tequila, waging a bloody war against the Triads. Now, overseen by Woo and with Yun-Fat reprising his role, Stranglehold’s bringing Tequila back on PS3, with a storyline that sees the Triads kidnap the hard-bitten Inspector’s ex-wife and daughter. Bad move, Triads…

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