Not only was John Woo responsible for launching a new genre within the action arena with A Better Tomorrow, but Chow Yun-Fat was catapulted into superstardom. Any Asian Film buff would be hard to find a film that betters that line up!
Bullet riddled and blood drenched, its a melodramatic drama of family, blood and crime. The film still holds a huge influence over the Honk Kong film-making industry. Although made on a tight budget, it became a blockbuster, ranking #2 in the best 100 Chinese Motion pictures.
The story follows two brothers as their complex relationship unravels gangland violence. One brother has followed the path of law enforcement while the other is heavily entrenched in the darker exploits of crime. Although he attempts to reconcile with his brother, the ex-gangster finds that its almost impossible to break the blood ties he has made with his gang. My favourite scene remains as the restaurant shootout where Chow Yun-Fat plants extra guns along his escape route. Full of double crossing, shoot outs and high suspense, its as explosive as it is a magnificent action classic.
By now, you’ve got the picture that the film is very violent, the body count high; but you can’t beat twin gun action and quality of stunts and choreography the movie contains. The soundtrack is dated as is most of the dialogue and attitudes. However, seriously, who doesn’t love buckets of blood being splashed about the screen while characters dodge an armoury of bullets being peppered into impossible situations?
A Better Tomorrow is the perfect choice for a chilly Sunday DVD day where you don’t want to think too much, but want to be entertained by master of action movies.
Theatrical poster via Wiki