Hitman (杀手之王, also known as Contract Killer) is a 1998 Hong Kong martial arts action comedy film directed by Tung Wai, starring Jet Li, Gigi Leung, Simon Yam and Eric Tsang. The plot deals with a rogue assassin known as the "King of Killers", and a bounty placed on the Angel's head being pursued by an ex-soldier played by Jet Li.
Meanwhile, Fu (Jet Li), a contract killer, became a small town gang member who lives an extremely simple and modest lifestyle. It is revealed that Fu is very kind and has trouble killing innocent people, a trait that causes him to be disliked by the other low rent triad members. When Fu's boss reveals that there is now a $100 million US bounty on the King of Killers' head for the slaying of the yakuza boss, Fu is quick to volunteer for the job, but is instead insulted.
Fu then attempts to enter the building where the crime boss's lawyers are discussing the terms for the revenge fund, but is detained at the entrance and ushered out by security guards. In self-defense, Fu incapacitates the guards, which draw the attention of Ngok Lo (Eric Tsang), a seedy contract booker and loan shark, who comes to Fu's aid by pretending that he is an agent and Fu is his actor. Thanks to Lo's smooth talking, the pair is able to sidle into the meeting.
The meeting however, comes to a halt when H.K.P.F. agents, led by detective Chan (Simon Yam), raid the building in search of known criminals who are meeting there. Chan, a leading detective, has been working tirelessly to expose the King of Killers' true identity for years. Meanwhile, the slain crime boss's grandson, Eiji Tsukamoto (Renji Sato) takes over as the head of the Tsukamoto family, motivated by power.
Fu and Lo get acquainted, revealing that Fu is an ex-soldier from mainland China, part of a special, world-famous unit known as the "Golden Soldiers". When Lo asks for a demonstration of Fu's skills, he is able to rapidly take down several ruffians simultaneously, but falters when he is confronted by a woman. Lo then explains the deal with Fu, and they head for an amusement park to assassinate the first person believed to be the King of Killers. However, when they get there, it is revealed their target is a simple family man, and instead of killing him, Fu saves his life by killing his other assassins, the low-rank triad members he formerly lived with.
Fu and Lo are then arrested, but they are bailed out by Lo's daughter, Kiki (Gigi Leung), an intelligent and successful lawyer fed up with her father's scandalous ways and criminal connections. Fu moves in with Lo now that he has no place to stay, and they quickly become friends, Lo claiming he used to be an infamous hitman known as the "Killing Tank" but proving he has no real combat skills or experience.
The next day, Fu and Lo travel to a nursing home, in search of an old acquaintance of Lo's known only as "Uncle Leung". Unbeknownst to them however, Tsukamoto's agents have already traveled to Leung's home. While searching his apartment, a third assassin arrives, an explosives expert. The three parties have a standstill in the hallway when Uncle Leung suddenly appears. Chaos erupts as the explosives assassin blows up the apartment, and Fu and Lo immediately take Leung and start running, pursued by both the grenade-using assassin and Tsukamoto's agents. Eventually Fu and Lo are confronted by the third assassin, and he tries to kill Leung with a hand grenade, but Fu kicks the grenade back blowing up the assassin with his own grenade. Before they can escape, however, they run into Tsukamoto's lead bodyguard, known only as "the Tall Guy" (Raul Rapovski), who is guarding the entrance. The Tall Guy and Fu have a battle, where Fu gains the upper hand before the Tall Guy uses finger and shoe-mounted light-emitting devices to blind Fu and beat him down. With Fu defeated, the three are quickly surrounded by the rest of Tsukamoto's agents, as well as Tsukamoto himself. Desperate, Lo quickly shakes Uncle Leung, telling him to tell the others Lo's innocent, but the old man emits only one word, a Cantonese obscenity, before he dies. Frustrated, Tsukamoto shoots the dead Leung in the head before turning his gun to Lo, but the Tall Guy says to leave them, advising that killing innocents will only attract more unwanted attention, and Tsukamoto and his agents leave.
Back at Lo's apartment, the two are alive, but visibly shaken. Kiki and her fiancee, David, then arrive, to finish moving out Kiki's belongings, as she is moving in with David. Noticing Fu and Lo's battle-scarred appearances, Kiki takes Fu to an ice rink, questioning him as to what her father is up to again, but eventually warming up to him and the two become fast friends. When Fu returns to the apartment, Lo explains his story, and why he was searching for Uncle Leung.
As they are watching the television, there is suddenly a news report of an apartment fire. Lo is visibly shocked, and when questioned, he reveals that the inflamed apartment was actually where Lo lived a few years back. Before the two can escape, however, the power goes out, with a team of hitmen infiltrating the complex. Fu manages to kill the assassins and manages to escape with Lo.
Fu and Lo then arrive at Tsukamoto's complex, where Lo admits to being the King of Killers, and Fu then pretends to shoot him. However, it is revealed that the revenge fund's lead lawyer has arranged a deal with Tsukamoto, so that no matter who kills the King of Killers, it will be Tsukamoto who gets the bounty. The two are in trouble as Tsukamoto's agents close in, but then detective Chan, arrives, and starts killing the gang members. After an extended series of fight sequences, Fu manages to kill Tsukamoto, the Tall Guy, and all of Tsukamoto's bodyguards and henchmen.
As an ending to the movie, there is one last scene where all the survivors gather for a business meeting. Arranged by the revenge fund's lawyer, the bounty has been split between Fu, Chan, and Lo. Fu and Chan then have a conversation, where Chan states that he is getting too old for the business, and is going to give up the mantle of the King of Killers. He wants Fu to become the new King of Killers, recognizing not only his skills but also his inability to hurt the innocent and exact justice on evil. Fu's reply ambiguous, the credits roll.