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A BETTER TOMORROW II

Production Notes
With the original A Better Tomorrow being a huge success in Hong Kong and the rest of Asia, it was only a matter of time before a sequel surfaced. Director John Woo once said he didn't like making sequels for his films mainly because sequels seem more of a "Hollywood thing". Nevertheless the director will break this rule in order to help out his friend, comedian Dean Shek who was having money troubles at the time. A Better Tomorrow II never did came close in topping it's original but the film did showcases much more action sequences than the first.

Storyline
One year after part I, Ah Ho (Ti Lung)is still serving time in prison while his brother Ah Kit (Leslie Cheung) continues to rise in the police force. Ah Kit's newest assignment is to go undercover in a shipping company owned by ex-triad boss, Ah Lung (Dean Shek) who also happens to be Ah Ho's former mentor. Ah Ho declines an offer to commute his sentence by working undercover to expose Ah Lung but later agrees when he found out Ah Kit is also involved in the case. Matters become complicated when Ah Lung is framed for a murder by another triad boss. Forcing to flee to New York, he meets up with Mark's twin brother, Ken (Chow Yun Fat) when helps him when an army of hired assassins comes gunning down for him.Over in Hong Kong, Ah Ho and Ah Kit faces a dilemma when the triad boss suspects that one of them is working undercover.

Review
Being a big fan of the original A Better Tomorrow, I had really high expectations for the sequel.
A Better Tomorrow II tries hard to follow the trend of it's original but falls flat in execution. The relationship between Ah Ho and Ah Kit is rarely explored, instead most of the film's story centres around Ah Lung which I personally found boring. The first hour of the film is really hard to sit through, one can get lost in the plot as the film is at times confusing. It seems both John Woo and Tsui Hark took turns to edit the film without knowing what the other did, resulting in a very uneven film.
Thankfully the action sequences did prove the saving-grace for the film. A Better Tomorrow II had one of the most violent shoot-out even shot, which is probably the only factor which the sequel manage to improve on. In A Better Tomorrow II, you can really see a much more polished John Woo style of action especially the movie's finale when the three heroes goes to the mobster hideout to settle the score.

[A Better Tomorrow] [Just Heroes] [The Killer] [Bullet In The Head] [Once A Thief] [Hard Boiled] [Hard Target] [Broken Arrow] [Once A Thief TV Pilot] [Face/Off] [The Replacement Killers] [Blackjack] [The Big Hit] [Mission Impossible 2]


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