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on July 20, 2000
This movie is the best of the "Better Tomorrow" trilogy and one of John Woo's best Hong Kong releases after "Hard Boiled" and "The Killer". It takes off right after "A Better Tomorrow" with Chow Yun Fat returning as Mark's twin brother Ken. It starts off a little slow, but it's essential to character development (which most action films of this genre lack). The ending has one of the best and bloodiest shootout sequences in the series. Some of the scenes in this end sequence you may remeber being shown in Tarentino's "True Romance".
The two stars keeping this movie from getting a five star rating was due to the quality of the DVD. Although the packaging of the DVD was nice, the booklet inside was merely an advertisement and had no information for this movie. To my disappointment there was NO EXTRA FOOTAGE or BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE as advertised and it left me feeling ripped off. The DVD just merely contained actor's and director's files which looked like it was taken directly from the IMDB ([...] The subtitles were poorly translated with constant grammatical, spelling and timing errors, which made most the dialogue confusing. The colors were muted and in some of the dark scenes, what was supposed to be black turned a bright blue - yuck!. The only real difference between the DVD and the VHS version was the remastered Dolby Digital sound and widescreen letterboxed aspect ratio (1.85:1).
The only reason that I didn't return this version of the DVD is that the only other version is on VHS and it's $13 more than the DVD. So if you are planning on purchasing this, I'd wait, there are plans for a superior version to be released in the fall.
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on May 3, 2003
From the accounts I've read, A Better Tomorrow II was a reluctant endeavour on Woo's part to cash in on an extremely personal and extremely successful film (the first A Better Tomorrow) which had made his career and hadn't been intended as a franchise. But a franchise it became, and the corny, nearly nonsensical plotting of this sequel (the comic-book artist is especially ludicrous -- it's the same guy who had been the counterfeit engineer in the first film!) is the result.
But where this film good-naturedly flubs on logic, it makes up for in spectacle and just pure entertainment. Chow Yun-fat must have had a ball filming this, with his extended English monologue, almost godlike action choreography, and a mischievous character which taps into one of his most effective traits as an actor, a goofball sense of fun which makes his romantic moments all the more engrossing. Ti Lung's character is somewhat passive this time though the actor does a good job. Dean Shek's over-the-top portrayal of a mind unhinged isn't for all tastes, but his performance in the not-crazy scenes is tip-top, and Leslie Cheung had grown greatly as an actor since the first film.
In the end, this film is about an exaggerated staging of the trademark gunfights of A Better Tomorrow, and this sequel delivers on that front in grand style. Once again Chow Yun-fat steals the whole show, dominating both key action sequences (the final demolition of the house and the New York battle against over-the-top slimy mafiosi).
The DVD transfer of this film is not all that great. As with the first A Better Tomorrow DVD on Anchor Bay, the trailers are not that remarkable -- this DVD offers "Hong Kong" and "American" trailers, but the Hong Kong trailer has already been available on the pristine Criterion Collection edition of Hard Boiled, and the American trailer is pure trash. There is no commentary, not surprisingly, but the most bothersome thing is that the picture transfer is really not that great. Unbecoming scratches mar the picture, and I suspect it's on the master used by Anchor Bay, not a one-off on my DVD.
The film is still lots of fun to watch. Turn off your logic circuit and indulge.
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on March 23, 2001
The movie gives the impression of various parts being put together that don`t have much in common. The action sequences praised by some did not have the explosive quality of the action sequences of A Better Tomorrow I, nor the emotional content. There are only two major shoot-outs in the movie: the first one has chow yun-fat gunning down american gangsters in a hotel with a shotgun (a sequence that is a bit too similar to the sequence in The Getaway where Steve McQueen guns down cops with a shotgun in a hotel (Peckinpah is one of the major influences on Woo); the second one is the final shoot-out and it comes close to self-parody (the baddies are mowed down in groups à la Commando) (Watching it, I even woundered if Woo directed most of this shoot-out - I know there were problems between Woo and Hark during the making of the movie.) The actors have more or less no intensity during the whole movie: they hardly seem to be playing the same characters as in the first one. The first third seems to be a rip-off of the Godfather, then the story is chucked out the window with Chow appearing as the twin brother: the first in a series of cheesy moments. The hit-man that kills Leslie Cheung is an obvious rip-off of Melville`s hitman: Le Samourai (A stoic silent hitman that waits for the other guy to draw before shooting). The movie seems like a waste of the talent of everyone involved.
Overall watchable B gangster movie but is no comparison with the original A Better Tomorrow, a mythic melodrama masterpiece.
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If you're like me, you're used to an old, grainy, pan and scan VHS version of ABTPT2. This disc is a welcome improvement! It is finally in the correct aspect ratio and the colors practically jump off the screen. The transfer is top-notch too (very little "artifacts"). The sound (while mono) has been remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 for extremely clear audio. Did I mention the NINE different subtitles and dubbing into Cantonese and Mandarin? All this plus some cast highlights and the trailer. Well worth the price, if you even have a fleeting interest in John Woo this is the only way to go!!
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on April 23, 2001
This film is a sequal in every sense of the word. It begins with our 'hero' from the first film in prison, and his CID brother undercover with a Triad. Then we learn that Yun-Fat's character Mark from the first film has a twin brother named Ken, who was the top tough guy where he grew up, but he moved to New York to lead a normal life on the straight and narrow. When an old friend is set up, and goes into hiding, he comes across Ken who decides it's best to help the old friend, and eventually they return to Hong Kong to set things right. The shootout at the mansion in the last 30 minutes is all you expect from the Woo/Chow duo, big explosions through the house, Yun-Fat going around two pistols blazing. A Better Tomorrow II is definitely better than it's predecesor. If you're a John Woo, or Chow Yun-Fat fan, I highly recommend it to you.
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on November 3, 2015
Blu Ray Review: Kam & Ronson version. Another good release by this company. It appears the results are always the same with all their Blu-Rays. A little questionable audio but good picture quality with good subtitles. But these releases are better than most the DVD's out there right now. I say $20 dollars is worth it unless you are hard on John Woo films. Extras include a trailer and Code Of Bullets thing. I don't know what it is.

Movie Review: Yes, why this movie gets mixed reviews is because for some the story is disjointed and a bit incoherent. Understand this movie was cut like a b**** by Tsui Hark in which resulted in Woo and Tsui's split. I would love to see a director's cut version of this movie to see if it will improve. 1% CHANCE OF THAT HAPPENING! F***S! Anyways, I liked the movie. I agree the story is a little iffy and the character interaction is somewhat meaningless in certain areas while the first was more meaningful and deep; all in all it's all about the action and that is where this movie impresses the most especially the final moments. LOTS OF DEAD PEOPLE! YAY! So screw the lots of yous!

Conclusion: 4 stars for the Blu Ray (questionable audio) and 4 1/2 for A Better Tomorrow 2.
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on December 17, 2003
The Hong Kong Godfather. Without a doubt this movie proves that John Woo is the best action director of all time, the vision, style, and the sher genious that he (Woo) uses in the direction of this movie is what sets it apart from and american action movie ever made. The action in this movie plays out like a ballet, a dance with bullets and blood. So put down those typical american action movies and pick up the movie that they want to be. You will not be dissaponted by this movie, one of if not the best hong kong action movie.
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on August 21, 1999
A Better Tomorrow II focuses mainly on Mark Gor's twin brother, Ken Gor, instead of the emotional storyline of the original, the brother-brother relationship (Ti Lung & Leslie Chueng, about 15 year difference in age). Ken Gor works in a New York Chinese restaurant, frequently visited by a racist Italian mob. In one of Chow Yun-Fat's most famous scenes, Ken has had enough of the scumags and stands up to them in an honorable, tough-guy way not even Robert De Niro could match. The whole movie goes in the same tone from there. About honor and loyalty. It has less emotional acting and dialogue than ABT1, but the gunfights are more tense and bloody, and Chow Yun-Fat's performance nearly equals that of his previous, classic character Mark Gor. One particular, long death sequence surpasss in the film surpasses that of Mark Gor's death in the original, in emotion and in intensity. The final gunbattle at the end is the conclusion to the trilogy, (ABT3 is a prequel) and three main characters sit down on couches, with literally thousands of bodies and tons of blood stacked around them. You don't know what will happen next to them, but the story has come to an end completely (other action films never seem to come to a complete end and generate endless sequels). John Woo at his best. You won't see an honorable film like this again, you'll see huge-budget popcorn movies like Mission: Impossible II and absolute cr*p like Replacement Killers which never gets anywhere.
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on March 12, 2002
John Woo doubles the body count in this ultra-violent and explosive sequel that surpasses the original.
It starts out that Mark Gor (who was killed-off in the original) has a twin brother living in New York owning a chinese restaraunt and is in troble with Italian mob and shelters a fomer hong kong traid boss on the ledge of insanity who was ran out of the hong kong traid mob now run by a more agressive leadership. Mark returns to hong kong teams up with Kit and Ho and together take down the traid mob that is now in partnership with the irish and italian mob.
Sertain elements from ABT2 was inspired by Quentin Tarrantino who use the black suite-white coller shirt-and black tie for the "Reservior Dogs". The final shoot-out in the manchent is one of the goriest and blooodist final gunfights ever put on film, as the three main characters use 9mm berettas,shoot-guns,mack-10s and samuri sward againts manchent full of no more of 100 mobsters with a thousand bullets comming from every direction, which makes Scarface and The Reservior Dogs on steriods.
The origanl ABT was about brotherhood,loyalty and honor, ABT 2 his about betryal and revenge. the first of the film is a bit dull but stars to improve by the second half. John Woo does a heck off a good job puting gun fight scenes together and making them into classics. Highly Recommed for True Woo fans
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on January 26, 2001
I think this is the only sequal to a movie that is better than the first. Don't get me wrong, a better tomorrow was a great film. But this sequal is a much more action packed emotional masterpeice. (If you can belive it?) It is unfortunate that some for whatever reason do not grasp or realize the power and excellence of this film. Being a former (note: REFORMED) drug dealer/buisness man, there were a few scene's which were riviting. The first (im not going to spoil it!) being when uncle lung calls his enemy's who think he's dead, and proceeds to calmly tell them he is in town, and is fine. And sublimily stating I am going to come over there and take care of all of you for selling me out. And the other being the shoot out between chow yun fat and the sunglass wearing hitman. This was truly the greatest gun fight in movie history. John Wayne could take a lesson from that. Enough about the movie, now the DVD: I am used to a grainly bootleg VHS of this movie. This DVD is an outstanding high quality version of this great film. If you like this movie or are a chow yun fat/john woo fan, then its a must hae. One note, in order to see this film in it's pure state, do not watch it with english dubbing. Use the sub titles. The english dubbing is often corny and desicrates the entire film. Finally this great film is on DVD, viewed in my opinion as John Woo's 3rd greatest film (Killer #1, Hardboiled #2,) it will not leave you disapointed. Unless you are over demanding, and exspect every DVD to have every little perk and a chow yun fat video game in it.
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