We've seen games based on movies and movies based on games, but less common is a game that serves as a sequel to a movie, bringing together the director and star for a reunion in the digital realm. Director John Woo and actor Chow Yun Fat have both contributed to this pseudo sequel to the 1990 international hit Hard Boiled, which itself inspired pretty much every game where a character leaps through the air with a blazing pistol in each hand.
Similar to games such as Max Payne, Stranglehold follows Chow Yun Fat's police inspector on the trail of bad guys up to some forgettable evil plot. It's really all just an excuse to send the digital version of the actor flying through the air in slow motion, mowing down hundreds of nearly identical enemies over and over again.
Deep thinking this is not, but the slo-mo bullet ballet is fun, even repeated ad nauseam, and the next-gen graphics (we played the Xbox 360 version of the game) looked impressive, especially the game's star, whom the development team flew to Hong Kong for a body scan and to record voice-overs.
To further cement the move/game connection, there will be a limited collector's edition of the game for the PlayStation 3, which will include a full Blu-ray version of the original film (the rights for which had to be chased down around the world, before publisher Midway finally found they were recently acquired by the Weinstein brothers). Look for it on PS3 and Xbox 360 in September.