A Better Tomorrow ★★★★

Impossible to overstate the influence of movies like this and John Woo's other HK stuff on the action movie form, but it's different in a crucial way too - a lot of action heroes are stoic emotional ciphers, as uninterested in their own feelings as the audience is presumed to be, Woo characters are always pitched on a razor's edge of emotion, living, breathing, bleeding, and dying by their familial and professional ties, always seeming right on the cusp of either a nervous breakdown or breaking into song.

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