5 Plot Point Breakdown: The Killer (1989)

By Staff · December 2, 2015

Screenplay Genre: Action

Movie Time: 106 minutes


An assassin named Jeffrey (Chow Yun Fat) accepts one final hit from his Triad bosses. He tracks his target to a ritzy nightclub and a firefight immediately breaks out. In the midst of the massive shootout, a muzzle flash from his gun blinds Jennie (Sally Yeh), the nightclub’s singer. (00:06:00)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

Jeffrey falls in love with the blinded Jenny, and a relationship soon develops between the pair. Jenny remains unaware of his true identity as the nightclub assailant. Racked by guilt, Jeffrey takes on yet another “last” job from the Triads in order to pay for a corneal transplant. (00:22:00)


In a game of cat and mouse, a detective named Li (Danny Lee) traces the trail of blood back to Jeffrey. A heated confrontation occurs between the two at Jenny’s house. Jeffrey manages to escape, and Detective Li proceeds to reveal the assassin’s true nature to Jenny. (00:55:00)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

After the death of his partner, Detective Li tracks Jeffrey to the home of his triad manager, Fung Sei (Chu Kong). Another confrontation between the pair occurs, again with Jenny present. They’re soon interrupted by a swarm of Triad thugs, resulting in an ambush.  Li and Jeffrey cooperate and manage to escape together. (01:17:30)


Jeffrey reveals to Li that he plans to use the money from the hit to pay for Jenny’s surgery. As they wait at a church for Fung Sei to arrive with his payment, Jeffrey promises to donate his own eyes in the off chance that anything should happen to him. The meeting turns out to be a setup — Fung Sei arrives beaten and mortally wounded, with mob boss Wong Hoi (Shing Fui On) and his triad gang not far behind. A massive shootout leaves Jeffrey dead from a bullet in each eye. (01:30:00)

For all the latest from The Script Lab, be sure to follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

And become a member of TSL 360 to enjoy the LARGEST screenwriting education content library, featuring masterclasses, deep-dive interviews, and lectures from Academy Award-winning screenwriters, TV show-runners, producers, literary managers, agents, studio executives, and leading educators – all in one place.