Wednesday, August 12, 2015
A BETTER TOMORROW (1986)
As far as action movies go there's not much better than 80's/90's Hong Kong. Kind of like how Italy reinvigorated the western back in the 60's Hong Kong took the standard American action flick and added a certain style and level of violence that reshaped the genre. This one here, directed by the master of these sorts of movie, John Woo, is a gangster/action movie containing tons of gun-fu and graphic bloodshed. Chow Yun Fat is featured, although he's actually not the main star here since 70's kung-fu mainstay Ti Lung has the main role. I think it's great to see Mr. Fat in a slightly lesser role and he gets to be a real bad-ass as the sidekick character. The story concerns two brothers who end up on the opposite sides of the law, one being a cop and the other a criminal. It all ends with lots of bullet holes, exploding barrels and lots of people dead. There are a couple of segments that lay a little heavy on the drama but I think the kick-ass action more than makes up for these slight slow overly-dramatic spots.
There was A BETTER TOMORROW II the following year and A BETTER TOMORROW III: LOVE AND DEATH IN SAIGON in '89. I think I have seen both of these but I should probably re-watch them since I'm not 100 % certain. There was also a South Korean remake in 2011 that I have definitely not seen.