John Woo's Hard Boiled Getting a Big Screen Sequel
by Alex Billington
March 8, 2009
We haven't seen much from Hong Kong director John Woo since he directed Paycheck in 2003, and that's because he's been developing his two-part epic Red Cliff in China for the last few years. However, hidden in a THR article (via SlashFilm) was a tidbit about Woo's Lion Rock Entertainment developing a sequel to Hard Boiled and/or adaptation of the video game Stranglehold. The game was created as a continuation of Woo's original Hard Boiled, which hit theaters in 1992, so it's the same thing as a sequel. While Woo isn't directing, he has hired budding writers Jeremy Passmore and Andre Fabrizio to pen the adaptation.
Stranglehold is billed as "The Only Authentic John Woo Video Game Experience," although it wasn't as big of a hit as expected, with only a 77 rating on Metacritic. I haven't played the game, and sadly I haven't even seen Hard Boiled either, though I've now added it to my must watch list. Stranglehold sees Chow Yun-Fat reprise his signature role as Inspector Tequila, pitting gamers as a take-no-prisoners cop waging a personal war with Hong Kong crime lords. Tequila's loyalties to the force are tested when his ex-wife is kidnapped by the Russian mob in Chicago. We're not sure if that story will be translated to the big screen.
It's no secret that I really hate John Woo (read some of past articles on him), but I'm actually not opposed to this sequel. Why? First off, because Hard Boiled is one of the films that Woo made before he came to America and started churning out crap; and secondly, because Woo isn't directing this, which means another better director can come in an experiment with Woo-style action. That said, I'm kind of an outlier, considering I'm not a Woo fan, so I'll let those of you who are fans of Hard Boiled respond to this instead. Is a sequel to Hard Boiled / adaptation of Stranglehold really necessary? Could it be any good at all?