Killer's Romance (1990)
Reviewed by: wyeeso on 2012-05-05
Summary: What's it like to fall in love with a killer?
[Plot: 3/5]
It doesn't matter if it's the plot, the characters or the whole love/revenge theme, this film really reminds me of what a typical HK comics from the 80s would have in their story. And then I was right, the film is a slight adaptation of a Japanese manga called "Crying Freeman" (well, close enough, since most HK comics take ideas from Japanese manga anyway). By "slight adaptation", I meant part of the concept and a few romantic scenes from this film are identical to the manga, then the rest is just another story.
In this film, the whole plot is set in London (not Japan), which is a great place for the protagonists to start their romance. And within the city of romance, love and revenge are set to begin.
After a young Chinese man, who is known as "Nidaime" (played by Simon Yam) to the local Yamaguchi-gumi, learns that his god-father (played by Foo Wang-Tat) was killed by a local Chinese triad, he refuses to succeed his god-father as a kumicho (a.k.a. boss). Instead, he chooses to become a killer and avenge for his god-father by gradually killing all the cadres from that Chinese triad. Now, the funny thing is "Nidaime" has only learnt about his god-father's death from the Yamaguchi-gumi's No. 2 man, Tamura (played by Luk Chuen), who also (and only) got shot on one arm by a vicious Chinese mobster named Chan Ben (played by Philip Ko). But since Tamura only got shot on the arm and came back home alive while the kumicho got killed in the very same room surrounded by the enemy, it really doesn't take that much brain cells for the audiences to figure out that Tamura is a very fishy guy who's up to something no good. And if only "Nidaime" could use some of his brain cells to think through the story and be skeptical about it, he should immediately realize the same thing that the smart audiences have already figured from the beginning. Another funny thing is "Nidaime" assistant, Keiko (played by Chan Fung-Chi), has later revealed that she witnessed how Tamura killed the kumicho and knew Tamura and Chan Ben are working together on something bad. Although she is crystal clear about what's going on from the beginning, she still doesn't bother telling her brother Ken (played by Ishida Kenichi) and "Nidaime" about the scheme. In fact, she quietly assists"Nidaime" in finishing off the pointless revenge by helping him to kill the innocence.
While the purge is in process, romance also jumps in as soon as an international student named Jane (played by Joey Wong) becomes obsessed with "Nidaime". Moreover, like a psychotic stalker, the curious Jane duplicates lots of photos of the killer's face for her own admiration (but seriously, who wouldn't fall for a guy like Simon Yam). However, as her obsession grows, she constantly finds herself in troubles. In another word, by falling love with a killer, Jane not only gets to be loved and cherished by "Nidaime", but she's also getting her best friend Jenny (played by Carmen Lee) killed and herself shot! As a result, Jane loses her best friend and two legs, while "Nidaime" also loses his assistant, his left arm and his freedom for taking the pointless revenge. Speaking about losing freedom, it's still a shocking mystery to me on how "Nidaime" only gets 2 years in prison instead of life sentence for killing all those people. And it doesn't make sense if it's just for parole either.
Overall, the illustration of the relationships between characters aren't too thorough, especially for the romantic component in this story. Although it's obvious that both protagonists find each other attractive and naturally bond together after having to save each other from dangers, it actually hard to believe that they're in love from the beginning till the end (unless sacrificing counts towards the category of love). Given that this story is also revenge-oriented, the romantic scenes have been overcast by the violent scenes during the killings, so that's why the protagonists' happy moments being with each other (which only last for less than 5 minutes) are only briefly shown in a time-saving MTV style. For friendship, it's assumed that Jane and Jenny are good friends from the beginning. It's also safe to assume that Jenny volunteers to help in covering up for Jane, who wants to meet up with her dream guy even when she knows it's dangerous to do so. Yet, on the other hand, other than crying for her name over her dead body, Jane hasn't done much for Jenny after getting her killed. Lastly, the sibling relationship between Keiko and Ken is much more detailed comparing to the romance and friendship in this story, but that's only because Keiko has been acting ambiguous toward her ambitious brother by asking him to quit the gang business when she could have just told him about Tamura's scheme right from the beginning.

[Actors: 2.5/5]
I guess this film is attempting to reach out to the female audiences by creating a tall and charming, yet heavyhearted, killer on screen. That's why Simon Yam is the perfect actor to play the role. Same for Joey Wong, her beauty and her pure image can definitely attract guys to watch this film. But let's face it, their acting in this film is just average and is hardly outstanding. The only actor that stands out more in this film is probably Philip Ko (who's also the director, script writer and producer for this film) for having exaggerated emotions on his face.

[The Production Crew:]
Other than enjoying the setting being in London, what I've found interesting about this film is the awesome weapons. They are not just the regular firearms I see from other films. In fact, their design is pretty nice and doesn't look too awkward. Thumbs up for the props crew.

[Memorable scene(s):]
I guess the last scene is pretty memorable: after Jane has spent 2 lonely Christmases on her own, "Nidaime" is finally released from prison and reunites with her. While hugging her, "Nidaime" said: "Now, I'm a freeman."

[Worth Watching A Second Time?]
This film is really just above average, but it usually wouldn't hurt if I have to watch it a second time.
Reviewer Score: 6