Why John Woo Treated Ha Ji Won “Just Like Chow Yun Fat”

Why John Woo treated Ha Ji Won "just like Chow Yun Fat"

Ha Ji Won in John Woo’s latest action film, Manhunt

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Hong Kong film-maker John Woo’s latest film Manhunt, which stars Chinese actor Zhang Hanyu, Japanese actor Masaharu Fukuyama, South Korean actress Ha Ji Won and Woo’s daughter Angeles. The film marks his long-awaited return to the action genre, and features female assassins, a first for the director’s movies.

Woo was behind a number of what many consider to be iconic action films in the Hong Kong film canon, from A Better Tomorrow (1986) to The Killer (1989) and Hard Boiled (1992).

The idea of updating things applies in more ways than one, he adds, as the film is a remake of the classic 1976 Japanese actioner of the same name.

Manhunt, which opened in Singapore cinemas yesterday (Nov 23), offers a similar storyline as the original, except that the man on the run (Zhang Hanyu) is framed for murder instead of corruption. Hot on his heels is Japanese police detective Yamura (Masaharu Fukuyama).

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Woo also created new characters such as Rain and Dawn, a pair of female assassins played respectively by Ha Ji Won and Angeles Woo .

Says Woo to The Straits Times in Kuala Lumpur: “I wanted to add a deeper emotional aspect to the movie and these characters provide that. Rain and Dawn are great friends, so there is a level of intimacy between them.

“Rain is hired to kill the main guy, but she is torn because she starts to develop feelings for him. There is a sense of tragedy there.”