With his two-gun, doves-a-plenty aesthetic, Woo ruled Hollywood for one brief, joyful time. Then, he burned out quick. Now, gone from Hollywood and back to his native land, the incomparable actioner is sorely missed. By this guy at least. I haven't seen all of his Hong Kong offerings (to my eternal shame) so, in fairness, I am focusing just on his American output.
(For those unfamiliar, his American output is largely considered to be lesser when compared to his Hong Kong flicks, so please believe me when I say go find those other movies too. At the very least, see Hard Boiled and The Killer.)
And now, we list!
John Woo’s American Films, in Order of Quality (Objective), Worst to Best
4.) Mission: Impossible II
3.) Broken Arrow
2.) Hard Target
John Woo’s American Films, in Order of Preference (Subjective), Least to Most Favorite
6.) Mission: Impossible II- So bad, it plays like a parody of Woo’s other films. Not even Cruise could save this one for me.
5.) Windtalkers- Playing off format here, Woo stretches to tell a rather straightforward war tale with Nic Cage as the star. It is an interesting bit of history and the movie is not badly made, but it lacks the pop of his more typical fare.
4.) Paycheck- This is not a good movie. In fact, it’s a bad movie. But, I don’t know…I have a weird bit of affection for it, I confess.
3.) Hard Target- Better than I remembered, and much better than any Van Damme flick this side of the Timecop/JCVD one-two punch.
2.) Broken Arrow- As discussed previously, there is no Travolta as villain performance that isn’t worth checking out.
1.) Face/Off- Objectively, subjectively, there is no beating the gonzo “everything on 11”-ness of Face/Off, even (especially?) with the climaxes piling up as the film draws to a close.