Film director John Woo achieved international recognition with such boldly crafted, symbolically textured action films as The Killer (1989) and Hard-Boiled (1992). With the recent American hits Broken Arrow (1996) and Face/Off (1997), Woo has become even more noted for his excitingly choreographed, highly kinetic action films. But the director's body of work transcends the action. Neither a superficial "action" director nor a tiresome moralizer, Woo has fashioned a surprisingly complex and articulated style, one that integrates his emphasis on ethical concerns and religious symbolism.
This book analyzes the films and career of the director from his early days in Hong Kong to his current work in Hollywood. Individual chapters are devoted to his works. The book examines Woo as a cross-cultural film artist who draws upon both Asian and Western influences. His status as an "action" director, his influence on other filmmakers and his use of symbolic material are discussed. The author uses material from numerous and extensive interviews with Woo, and with past and present colleagues