[It's] a stylistic tour de force. Revisiting the movie’s second assassination setpiece—the one at the regatta—I was surprised to see Woo execute a move that I now associate with Spike Lee, of all people...
I believed [in the early '90s]—and I certainly believe now, in retrospect—that The Killer reaching these shores was a watershed moment for action filmmaking, every bit as influential in shaping the genre’s future as Die Hard, which was produced a year earlier..Though John Woo was by no means a sui generis action savant—we’ll get into his pilfering of the other genre masters plenty, I’m sure—the idea of style itself being a primary attraction was new.
If "The Killer" is partly a romantic comedy, Chow is the movie's Julia Roberts: a glamour god, an It-Boy, striding through restaurants, parking garages, churches and apartment hallways in slow-motion, often armed and dangerous, jaw set, hair flowing. He's in Woo's spotlight from start to finish, worshipped by Woo's gliding camera to the point where it seems to be counting every bead of sweat on his face.