Last Hurrah for Chivalry (1979)
Reviewed by: pjshimmer on 2005-06-26
What do John Woo, Johnnie To, and Patrick Tam have in common? For one, they were pioneers of the HK new wave movement in the late 70s/early 80s. For another, they are known for their modern day gangster, bullet ballet, heroic bloodshed, or crime films, BUT each director's debute was in the realm of martial arts: Tam's "The Sword," To's "Enigmatic Case," and Woo's "Last Hurrah for Chivalry." Despite the genre gap, the fact is, their debutes do embody some of their later-established trademarks. In Woo's case, Last Hurrah is definitely a cry for loyalty and honor, familiar themes that he will explore again and again in revolutionary projects like A Better Tomorrow and The Killer.

Woo's cinematic values of friendship and honor (and their fading in contemporary society) have been influenced a great deal by mentor Chang Cheh, and they are evident in Last Hurrah, proof that values transcend genre.