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File:Hard-boiled 445.jpg
Give a guy a gun and he's Superman. Give him two and he's God!
Superintendant Pang, on Tequila and his "attitude" with firearms

Hard Boiled is a critically-acclaimed action film by John Woo, starring Chow Yun-Fat in his slightly younger years. This 1992 action classic that has aged very gracefully, and boasts action very few modern contemporary films can match up to. Has a sequel in the form of a game called Stranglehold, also produced by John Woo.

Hard Boiled is all about two cops - one undercover, another much maligned for always, always playing the Bad Cop (tm) - working together to bring down a gunrunning ring. There is plenty of plot in between which establishes the characters of Tequila (the Bad Cop) and Alan (the undercover cop) nicely.

But what you're here for are the action scenes, intricately choreographed and masterfully done by John Woo. What Shoot 'Em Up played for humor, Hard Boiled plays absolutely straight - and both movies end up totally awesome (for different reasons).

Tropes used in Hard Boiled (film) include:
  • Action Prologue: The opening teahouse scene.
  • Badass: Pretty much all the cops, but especially Tequila and Alan.
  • Badass and Baby: One of the movie's most iconic moments is Tequila protecting a baby while blasting up bad guys during the finale of the hospital shootout.
  • Black and Gray Morality: This film is your classic story of a cop who shoots first and asks questions later, and an undercover cop who kills people for the mob in order to maintain his cover, up against an ruthless gun smuggler and his gang.
  • Car Fu: One poor mook ends up eating bike during the first half of the big warehouse shootout. Ouch.
  • Cool Guns: Pick a modern automatic weapon on the list from before 1992. It will appear in this movie.
  • Cowboy Cop: Tequila. Full stop.
  • Da Chief: Superintendent Pang.
  • Die Hard on an X: The second half of the movie can be best described as "Die Hard in a Hospital."
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Mad Dog
  • Eye Scream Johnny Wong's death at the end of Tequila's gun. The climax of a series of ever-escalating Crowning Moments Of Awesome.
    • Also, Mad Dog.
    • And a real life version: Tony Leung's eye was injured by explosion debris during the climax, with the shot of it happening remaining in the film.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: While at the hospital, Mad Dog uses a scalpel to kill an informant. Just we're treated to a close up shot of the scalpel being pressed against the informant's neck, we cut to a shot of his blood spraying across the window.
  • Gratuitous English: Serves as an aid in decoding the cryptic messages left by Alan.
  • Guns Akimbo: See the page quote, played straight with awesomeness.
  • Gun Fu
  • Gun Kata: Word of God has described the gunfights as "gun ballet."
  • Hand Cannon: One of the guns that sees use in this movie is a single-shot Thompson/Center Contender, wielded by Mad Dog against Tequila and Alan.
  • Heel Face Turn: Mad Dog, not that it helps him much.
  • Heroic Bloodshed
  • Heroic BSOD: Averted, Tequila talks Alan out of falling into one of these after realizing he may have shot a fellow cop.

 [[spoiler: Alan: Did I just shoot a cop?

Tequila: Yes.

Alan: Fuck]]

  • Honor Before Reason: The cops, naturally. And quite surprisingly, even The Dragon of Johnny Wong.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Par for the course on a John Woo movie, but deserving of special mention for one scene. Tequila has placed several rounds of gunpowder into a metal pipe, with a bullet covering the entrance. He fires a shot from at least seven feet away, one handed, and hits the bullet, blowing the gunpowder in the pipe. This description in no way reflects how awesome and impossible that is.
    • He later uses this skill to finally take out Johnny Wong with a Moe Greene Special.
      • Allan shooting the lighter when he was supposed to kill the informant for Johnny Wong.
  • Made of Iron: Another John Woo staple. Mad Dog loses or has an eye severely injured, and at one point suffers Tequila repeatedly punching it, apparently with no adverse affects. In the final shootout the characters take damage which would render normal people paralytic, instantly dead, or at least incapable of serious action, yet they never stop.
  • Mexican Standoff: Between Tequila and Alan at the warehouse. Allan refusing to shoot Tequila is his first clue that Allan's an undercover cop
  • Moe Greene Special: Johnny's death.
  • More Dakka: While played relatively straight with everyone else, it is allegedly averted by Tequila who we are informed "never wastes a slug."
  • Never Hurt an Innocent:

 Mad Dog: Boss, let's set the patients free.

Johnny: Oh, why do you care about what happens to them.

Mad Dog: It's the decent and honorable thing to do.

Johnny: I'll run this show MY FUCKING WAY, thank you!!

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