Like many Hong Kong exports in the late 20th century, The Last Blood was given the title Hard Boiled 2 to help it sell in the United Kingdom, and that alternate title has stuck despite zero relation to John Woo’s seminal Hard Boiled. In fact, The Last Blood was released a year before Hard Boiled. Don’t let it bother you. What was once false advertising by a VHS label just trying to hawk some foreign action in distant markets has become retro-kitsch ripe for a boutique Blu-ray line aimed at fans of the Hong Kong cinema world’s most bullet-addled action era. Regardless of its title, The Last Blood delivers what you’d expect.
If you’re familiar with Hong Kong cinema, you’re probably familiar with Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs, for one). He stars alongside Alan Tam as as a pair of cops thrust together by fate and on the hunt for donors of a rare blood type who can save Lau’s wife and an important Tibetan monk — the latter of whom was attacked by a group of Japanese nationalists hellbent on assassinating important religious figures.
There’s plenty to enjoy here for fans of practical action, shattered glass and excessive gunfire. An early assassination attempt at an airport involving stewardesses is particularly memorable. The entire idea that our heroes must escort a man solely for his blood is a good narrative conceit, and the movie moves quickly. That said, if you’re familiar with this era of Hong Kong action cinema, there isn’t necessarily anything new or unique here. It’s not an unsung classic, just a decently entertaining film.
Special features include:
- Double Walled Matt Finish O-Ring featuring new artwork by Sean Longmore
- Double-sided foldout poster
- High-definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation in 1.85:1 aspect ratio
- 2.0 Cantonese Mono with English subtitles and optional SDH
- 2.0 English Mono
- Audio commentary with Hong Kong film expert Frank Djeng
- English trailer
- Hong Kong trailer
- Reversible cover with new design by Sean Longmore and original Hong Kong art