A Taste of Killing and Romance
1994 Directed by Veronica Chan. Starring Andy Lau Tak-Wah, Anitia Yuen Wing-Yee, Waise Lee Chi-Hung.
REVIEWED By Joey O'Bryan, Fri., June 23, 1995
This decent, if wholly unremarkable, melodramatic action picture marks the feature debut of director Veronica Chan, who attempts here to revive the Eighties brand of “Heroic Bloodshed” gunplay epics with disappointingly scattershot, and occasionally tired, results. The plot follows two killers-for-hire, played by pop icon Andy Lau (Savior of the Soul) and overexposed cutie-pie Anita Yuen (She Is a Man, He Is a Woman), who, not unlike the title assassin in John Woo's The Killer, have a strict code of ethics, and rub out only “bad guys” who are supposedly above the law. The pair eventually meet and fall in love, but are then hired to take each other out, which sends our lovelorn killers on the run. A gang of heavily armed mobsters and one determined cop (essayed by Bullet in the Head's Waise Lee) follow in hot pursuit. For my money, a plot like this screams out for at least a touch of knowing humor to accommodate the ludicrous goings-on, but A Taste of Killing and Romance is played far too straightly, occasionally bringing about some unintentional laughter. To make matters worse, stars Lau and Yuen, while both attractive and capable performers, just aren't at their best when playing such stone-faced “serious” roles, and as a result, their performances seem uncharacteristically stiff and heavy-handed. Despite these faults, the film does manage to entertain, thanks to director Chan's sense of style and a few key scenes of jolting violence -- some of which were trimmed down for the picture's Mandarin language videocassette release. All in all, it's not necessarily bad, but not exactly anything special either. Great title, though….