Director John Woo‘s reputation soured a little once his U.S. films didn’t quite connect with audiences as his work in his native Hong Kong did, but films like A Better Tomorrow and Hard Boiled were massively influential on the style of action directors in the late 90s/early 2000s. There have been many imitators, but there’s only one Woo.
Which is why it’s exciting that a new Woo film is arriving on Netflix this week. Titled Manhunt, it has all the hallmarks of Woo’s classic work: slow motion, inventive action set pieces, and a master craftsman behind the camera. The film follows a prosecutor accused of heinous crimes he didn’t commit setting out on a mission to clear his name.
You can watch the trailer below:
This is maybe the first throwback movie Woo has done, and in a world where contemporary action directors are often stymied creatively by studios wanting the same kind of style for each of their franchise films, it should be refreshing to see Woo use everything in his bag of tricks to show everyone how it’s done.
The film is based on a Japanese novel and stars Zhang Hanyu, Masaharu Fukuyama, and Qi Wei. Manhunt arrives on Netflix this Friday, May 4.