YMMV for the movie:
- Complete Monster: Johnny Wong tops John Woo's other villains in terms of sheer nastiness. He has absolutely no qualms in blowing away innocent bystanders who are unfortunate enough to get in his way, as shown during the very first shootout of the movie. He only gets worse from there, culminating in the hospital sequence where he kills patients for trying to escape the hospital, takes a room hostage, and fires on the SWAT team even as they try to evacuate the babies of the hospital's maternity ward. Johnny's most despicable act is firing his Uzi into a crowd of patients standing between him and Alan, and then killing his Dragon Mad Dog when he blasts the gun out of his hands. The following quote by Johnny during the hospital sequence says it all.
Johnny Wong: There is no room for failure now. The innocent must die!
- A strong argument can be made that Wong gradually loses his shit due to Tequila's meddling and Tony's betrayal. At the beginning he really doesn't seem that much worse than Uncle Hoi.
- Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: in which a dozen or so bad guys die but come on, that baby is adorable.
- Ending Fatigue: The final hospital shootout lasts for half an hour...Not that that's a bad thing. It's the most famous sequence for a reason, after all.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: On release, it received a lukewarm reaction in Hong Kong as its audiences were burned out on Heroic Bloodshed films. However, its American debut was greeted with wide praise by both audiences and critics alike, which was a rare reaction to a Hong Kong film at the time.
- Idiot Ball: Foxy's death could have been avoided altogether if Tequilla didn't have a brainfart and take him to a hospital owned by Johnny Wong. All the more jarring because everyone seems to treat it as a tragic happenstance, and the heroes are pretty sensible otherwise.
- Moral Event Horizon: Johnny Wong crossed the line when he orders his men to kill the patients being evacuated from the hospital, and even takes a Mini-Uzi to a group of them standing between him and Alan.
- Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Downplayed. John Woo's stylized action has fallen out of favor today thanks to imitators and audience demand for more believable action scenes. Despite this, the film is still well regarded due to its practical effects and sheer scale - and quality - of its action choreography. It also helps that there's some surprisingly strong writing and characterization behind the over-the-top gunplay.
- Signature Scene: Tequila sliding down the banister with a gun in each hand, gunning down fleeing thugs, during the opening gunfight.
- The Woobie: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai is good at playing the Woobie, and his character Alan is no exception. Torn between a quite likeable crime boss, a horrible arms dealer, and his own fellow cops, it's not hard to feel for the poor guy.