Bizarrely moralistic gangster picture in which Woo orchestrates the gunplay with customary virtuosity, but also argues that violence is wrong and 'nobody wins' in gangland feuds. As usual, the family's foregrounded. The Godfather-like plot charts the bloody happenings after the boss of a crime syndicate is murdered and his relatives fight to take over the reins. As in the best mobster movies, it's never quite clear who's betraying who. The director includes some self-reflexive comedy in the shape of a youngster who wants to emulate the heroes of A Better Tomorrow (Woo, 1986), but learns that shoot-outs in 'real life' are tough, unglamorous work. Such corny moralistic humour can't help but undermine an otherwise impressive hardboiled thriller.
Cast and crew
Chow Sing Chi