Peace Hotel (1995)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2005-08-31
Summary: Chow Yuh Fat is the only saving grace...
Chow Yun-Fat plays a reformed killer who decides to leave his past behind and become the caretaker for the "Peace Hotel". Having grown up in a violent environment and led a crime-ridden past, the death of his girlfriend leads "the Killer" (Chow) to go on a murderous rampage and slaughter everyone in his gang, except for one boy who he spares at the last moment. Having a sort of epiphany, the Killer takes over the site of the slaughter, and transforms it into a safe haven for refugees on the run from bandits or gangsters. It is named the Peace Hotel, and the Killer's fierce reputation protects the tenants. When a woman (Cecilia Yip) shows up and claims to be his long-lost love, he becomes suspicious, eventually discovering that she is on the run from a gang whose leader she killed. Although she is a liar and a master manipulator, his pledge to protect the hotel's residents comes to a head when the gang shows up to kill her. When she realizes the pain she has caused, she is determined to meet her fate, but the Killer's moral tug-of-war forces him to protect her and take on the entire gang... with disastrous results.

Peace Hotel is a decent movie, with the setting probably being the most refreshing element. Hong Kong movies set in a wild west environment are few and far between, and this film does a good job capturing that feel. Chow Yun-Fat has played this role a thousand times, and although he's always good, although you've seen the "cold-blooded killer with a sensitive side" before. Cecilia Yip is also very good as the duplicitous Shau Siu-Man. The action sequences in the movie are very hard to follow, seeming to borrow the style of Wong Kar-Wai in Ashes of Time , with very blurred camera work that is supposed to simulate the speed of the action, but tends to be confusing. Peace Hotel was produced by John Woo, and there are some definite influences from him seen in Wai Kar-Fai's direction, but it can't match his classics such as The Killer and Hard Boiled. A good movie for Chow Yun-Fat fans, but average otherwise.
Reviewer Score: 6