The influential action classic that set the stage for a string of all-time greats burns it down on streaming
You know a movie has left behind an incomparable legacy when not only does it gain classic status in its own right, but it leads to a handful of spiritual successors that might be even better, all while cultivating a reputation as one of the most influential entries its chosen genre has ever seen. It’s a mark few films make, but John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow did it in style.
Prior to the game-changing 1986 great, the director had worked primarily in the martial arts and comedy genres, but his first collaboration with star Chow Yun-fat sent them both into the stratosphere. A box office smash hit that launched its leading man to superstardom, A Better Tomorrow also opened the floodgates for “heroic bloodshed” cinema, which would give rise to countless incredible actioners.
As well as Woo and Yun-fat’s own phenomenal re-teamings in The Killer and Hard Boiled, the fingerprints of A Better Tomorrow can be felt on everything from City on Fire and Point Break to Léon: The Professional and Face/Off, via The Matrix and John Wick. In short, it’s absolutely and unequivocally one of the most seminal cinematic shoot ’em ups there’s over going to be.
More than 35 years on from reinventing big screen running and gunning, A Better Tomorrow has been experiencing a well-deserved renaissance on streaming. Per FlixPatrol, the twisting tale of a former gangster trying to reconnect with his policeman brother has unloaded a hail of bullets on the iTunes global rankings, with the jaw-dropping and spellbinding all-timer remaining as re-watchable as ever.