[[quoteright:212:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hard-boiled_445.jpg]]

->''Give a guy a gun and he's Superman. Give him two and he's God!''
->-- '''Superintendant Pang''', on Tequila and his "attitude" with firearms

Hard Boiled is a critically-acclaimed action film by John Woo, starring Chow Yun-Fat in his slightly younger years. This 1992 action classic has aged very gracefully, and boasts action very few modern contemporary films can match up to. Has a sequel in the form of a game called ''{{Stranglehold}}'', also produced by John Woo.

Hard Boiled is all about two cops - one undercover, another much maligned for always, always playing the Bad Cop - working together to bring down a gunrunning ring. There is plenty of plot in between which establishes the characters of Tequila (the Bad Cop) and Tony (the undercover cop, played by TonyLeung Chiu-Wai) nicely.

But what you're here for are the action scenes, intricately choreographed and masterfully done by John Woo. What ''[[{{Film/ShootEmUp}} Shoot 'Em Up]]'' played for humor, Hard Boiled plays absolutely straight - and both movies end up totally awesome (for different reasons).

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!!This film provides examples of:
* ActionPrologue: The opening teahouse scene.
* ActorAllusion: Philip Chan, who played Superintendant Pang, was a CID cop in the '70s and for a while was the head of one of the first undercover units of the Hong Kong Police.
* {{Badass}}: Pretty much all the cops, but especially Tequila and Alan/Tony.
* BadassAndBaby: One of the movie's most iconic moments is Tequila protecting a baby while blasting up bad guys during the finale of the hospital shootout.
* BadassBiker: The raid on the warehouse is spearheaded by a motorcycle light cavalry squad.
* BannisterSlide: Chow Yun-Fat's Tequila does a bannister slide of his own with GunsAkimbo in a classic shot from the first shootout.
* BigBad: Johnny Wong.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: This film is your classic story of a cop who shoots first and asks questions later, and an undercover cop who kills people for the mob in order to maintain his cover, up against a ruthless gun smuggler and his gang.
* BottomlessMagazines
* CarFu: One poor mook ends up eating bike during the first half of the big warehouse shootout. Ouch.
* TheCavalry: The SWAT team, once they're able to get inside the hospital.
* CeilingCling: Mad Dog does this briefly, in order to get the drop on Alan and Tequila.
* ChekhovsSkill: Tequila takes a long aim at a hole in a pipe stuffed with gunpowder, then drops his arm and shakes it loose...only to fire a moment later. [[spoiler: He later does the same thing to Johnny.]]
* CoolGuns: Pick a modern automatic weapon on the list from before 1992. It ''will'' appear in this movie.
* CowboyCop: Tequila. Full stop.
* DaChief: Superintendent Pang.
* DeadMansTriggerFinger: Displayed by some of the ''dozens'' of mooks gunned down.
* DeathEqualsRedemption: [[spoiler: Mad Dog]]
* DieHardOnAnX: The second half of the movie can be best described as "Die Hard in a Hospital."
* TheDragon: Mad Dog.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Mad Dog, who has a strong sense of honor. He calls out Alan on the fact he's a mole for the police ''and'' is gunning for his boss. In the end, [[spoiler:he attempts to kill Johnny Wong when he kills a group of civilians Mad Dog spared.]]
--> There are two kinds of men I will never befriend; Cops and garbage who murder their own bosses. ''You have no sense of honor!''
* EyeScream:
** [[spoiler: Johnny Wong's death at the end of Tequila's gun. The climax of a series of SerialEscalation.
** Mad Dog.
** Tony Leung's eye was injured by explosion debris during the climax, with the shot of it happening remaining in the film.
* EyepatchOfPower: Mad Dog, again.
* GoodGunsBadGuns
* GoryDiscretionShot: While at the hospital, [[spoiler: Mad Dog uses a scalpel to kill an informant. Just as we're treated to a close up shot of the scalpel being pressed against the informant's neck, we cut to a shot of his blood spraying across the window.]]
* GratuitousEnglish: Serves as an aid in decoding the cryptic messages left by Alan.
** Also used by several characters throughout the film, such as singing English lyrics or shouting angry words. This is TruthInTelevision, as Hong Kong's primary languages are Cantonese and English.
* GunsAkimbo: See the page quote, played straight with awesomeness.
* GunFu
* GunKata: WordOfGod has described the gunfights as "gun ballet."
* HandCannon: One of the guns that sees use in this movie is a single-shot Thompson/Center Contender, wielded by Mad Dog against Tequila and Tony.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Mad Dog gets pissed after Johnny guns down a group of injured patients, solely because they were in the way of Tony - patients Mad Dog refused to shoot to get to Tony. He tries shooting Johnny, but it's blocked by his shotgun, and he runs dry - and Johnny unloads on him, point-blank]].
* HeroicBloodshed: Name-dropped in the climax, as Tequila talks to the kid he's protecting.
* HeroicBSOD: Averted; Tequila talks Tony out of falling into one of these after realizing he may have shot a fellow cop. It leads to a hilarious exchange.
-->'''Tony''': Did I just shoot a cop?\\
'''Tequila''': Yes.\\
'''Tony''': ''Fuck''! [unloads on the mook coming at them]
* HonorBeforeReason: The cops, naturally. And quite surprisingly, even TheDragon of Johnny Wong.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Par for the course on a John Woo movie, but deserving of special mention for one scene. Tequila has placed several rounds of gunpowder into a metal pipe, with a bullet covering the entrance. He fires a shot from at least seven feet away, one handed, and hits the bullet, blowing the gunpowder in the pipe. This description in no way reflects how awesome and impossible that is.
** He later uses this skill to [[spoiler:finally take out Johnny Wong with a MoeGreeneSpecial]].
*** When Tony/Alan is ordered by Johnny to shoot the informant, Foxy, he is careful to shoot the cigarette lighter in Foxy's shirt pocket, minimizing the damage.
* LockingMacGyverInTheStoreCupboard: Yeah, locking the heroes ''inside'' your arsenal is going to end well.
* MadeOfIron: Another John Woo staple. Mad Dog loses or has an eye severely injured, and at one point suffers Tequila repeatedly punching it, apparently with no adverse affects. In the final shootout the characters take damage which would render normal people paralytic, instantly dead, or at least incapable of serious action, yet they never stop.
** Tony ends up getting a back full of buckshot after an assassin gets the drop on him with a shotgun. The worst this does for him is make him stumble twice, but he's soon running around shooting his attackers and keeping up with the uninjured Tequila. Though later in the scene it ends up catching up with him and he ends up in the hospital, but he's still upright and conscious. Not bad, considering that this sort of thing would normally kill a person in most action films, never mind real life.
* MexicanStandoff: Between Tequila and Alan at the warehouse. [[spoiler: The latter's refusal to shoot Tequila is his first clue that he's actually an undercover cop. Also, his name is Tony.]]
* MoeGreeneSpecial: [[spoiler:Johnny's death]].
* MoreDakka: While played relatively straight with everyone else, it is allegedly averted by Tequila who we are informed "never wastes a slug."
* NeverHurtAnInnocent:
-->'''[[NobleDemon Mad Dog:]]''' Boss, let's set the patients free.
-->'''Johnny:''' Oh, why do you care about what happens to them.
-->'''Mad Dog:''' [[EvenEvilHasStandards It's the decent and honorable thing to do.]]
-->'''Johnny:''' [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney I'll run this show MY FUCKING WAY, thank you!]]
** When Mad Dog's fight with Tony takes them into an emergency ward full of innocent hospital patients, they both hold off on the fight long enough to shoo out the bystanders so they won't get hurt. [[spoiler: Then Johnny comes in and shoots the patients anyway, triggering Mad Dog's short-lived HeelFaceTurn.]]
* NobleDemon / NobleTopEnforcer: Johnny Wong's right hand man, Mad Dog, who wants to let the hostages at the hospital go and [[spoiler: eventually turns on Johnny when he kills some crippled patients just to get at Allan]].
* TheOner: The hospital's elevator scene. It's probably the most spectacular moment in the film.
* OutOfTheInferno: In the end, [[spoiler:Johnny Wong walks out of his self-inflicted inferno, hauling Tony in tow.]]
* RedShirtArmy: Played straight with the cops at the teahouse, but refreshingly averted with the [=SDU=] team at the hospital. Once our heroes are able to create enough of a disturbance inside for these guys to be able to break through, they're ''very'' effective.
* RuleOfCool
* SacrificialLamb: Benny, Tequila's partner in the beginning, which drives Tequila's revenge plot. Later, the nameless cop [[spoiler:Tony accidentally shoots.]]
* SerialEscalation: If ''TheKiller'' took John Woo's trademark action tropes [[UpToEleven up to 11,]] then ''Hard Boiled'' took them [[MemeticMutation Over 9000.]]
* ShoutOut: See ''InfernalAffairs'' after watching ''HardBoiled'' or vice versa. Notice something upon viewing? Hear that shouting?
** Tequila carrying a baby during the climax is a reference to the famous story of the ancient Chinese general Zhao Yun saving the infant son of his lord Liu Bei during the Battle of Chang-Ban. Woo later got to tell the original story in ''{{Red Cliff}}''.
*** Tony sends coded messages to the police by sending flowers to Teresa (Teresa Mo), a police secretary and Tequila's on-again, off-again girlfriend, with the message on the card. Before it's decoded, the message on the first card reads, "Are you somewhere feeling lonely/Or is someone loving you?", which is a lyric from Lionel Richie's "Hello". They're all from well-known love songs.
* SmokeAndFireFactory: the warehouse is a blatant example.
* SpoonyBard: Definitely averted. When he's not mowing down countless bad guys, Tequila relaxes by playing jazz clarinet, with Benny on the drums. It turns out Tequila wanted to be in a band, not be a cop.
* StuffBlowingUp: IN SPADES.
* ThrowDownTheBomblet: Mad Dog. With PinPullingTeeth, too. Tequila also makes use of a smoke grenade during his solo raid on the warehouse.
* TitleDrop: "So it's you. The hard boiled cop."
* UnnecessaryCombatRoll: Tony is fond of these.
* VillainousValor: Mad Dog, again. He's absolutely disgusted with Tony's betrayal - and even more disgusted with the fact his boss and his goons gun down innocent civilians.
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