6.6/10
441
8 user 4 critic

Ying hung ho hon (1987)

After being released from prison, Tang Kat Yung exacts revenge on Li Ah Chai, in this sequel to Rich and Famous.

Director:

Taylor Wong

Writer:

Stephen Shiu (as Stephen Siu)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yun-Fat Chow ... Li Ah Chai (as Chow Yun Fat)
Andy Lau ... Lam Ting Kwok
Alex Man ... Tang Kat Yung
Siu-Fung Wong ... Wai Chui
Carina Lau ... Lau Po Yee
Danny Lee ... Supt. Chang
Fui-On Shing ... Luk / 'Number 6'
Chun Hsiung Ko ... Chu Lo Tai
Chung Lin Chung Lin ... Big Eye
Hong-Ning Ng ... Chuan
Elvis Tsui ... Chai's Man
Chun Yang ... Kit (as Kwan Yeung)
Siu-Lung Leung ... Lui
San Yip San Yip ... Kwok's Wife
Chien Yu ... Mrs. Chu
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Storyline

In the 1970s, Li Ah Chai was a powerful Hong Kong crime boss whose lieutenants were two orphaned brothers, Tang Kat Yung and Lam Ting Kwok. When he names Kwok as his heir, the cruel and sadistic Yung becomes jealous. The upshot: during the 1980s, Kwok retires to Malacca to raise a family, Yung builds his power, and Chai gradually loses his circle, one at a time, to bribery and murder. All Chai wants is to live in peace with his wife and son, but Yung's desire for revenge overcomes reason. Chai tries to retreat to Malacca; Yung follows him there with tragic results. Afterwards, Chai calls his old nemesis in the Hong Kong police department, Supt. Chang, to alert him that he's going to try one final assault on Yung's fortress. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong

Language:

Cantonese | Mandarin

Release Date:

20 February 1987 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Rich and Famous 2 See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Chu: With the old away and the young in power, things are such a mess.
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Connections

References Scarface (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Explosive and impressive gangster drama
26 February 2003 | by Bogey ManSee all my reviews

Hong Kong director Taylor Wong's Tragic Hero (1987) is a sequel to his Rich and Famous (also 1987), and these both films belong to the same masterful category as John Woo's A Better Tomorrow series (1986 and 1987) for example. They are convincing heroic bloodshed dramas that are not interested at all in the usual HK slapstick humor and really want and try to develop the characters to become as multi leveled and real as the ones in Woo's films and other non-commercial and deeply personal films from Hong Kong.

This pharagraph may spoil Rich and Famous a little! Tragic Hero continues where Rich and Famous left. Chow Yun Fat's gangster boss Chai tries to live peacefully with his wife and son but as the opening credit text tells it is not easy when one's past is like Chow's and the ghosts and enemies from your past life will haunt you more or less. The betraying and evil rival gangster boss Yung is played by Alex Man and his righteous brother by Andy Lau. Originally all three were brothers but at the end of the earlier film, Yung betrayed the other two and so Chow and Lau remained together. Yung is still as selfish and violent as he used to be and it all leads to the explosive conclusion that is close to, believe it or not, the finale in Woo's incredible A Better Tomorrow 2 (1987).

Tragic Hero is a more noteworthy in many levels than its predecessor. It has some wonderful dramatic scenes that are usually lacking almost or completely in HK films like these as most films are only interested in action and furious gun fights. In Tragic Hero, the protagonist is Chow and his family suffers a lot because of his criminal (past) life and there is one very great scene involving Chow and his wife and how they express each others' feelings on screen before the dramatic incident. This is something one wouldn't expect to find from many films of the genre and it is so great they wanted to make this film drama as much as action. The other characters are also well written, especially the wicked Yung and his bad and selfish relations to his relatives and friends. Tragic Hero, like Rich and Famous, is written by Stephen Shiu and veteran Manfred Wong the latter having written also such HK classics like Ching Siu Tung's wonderful wuxia tale Duel to the Death (1983) and Lam Nai Choi's seriously demented and ultra violent Killer's Nocturn (1987) to name just a few.

Violence is again very sudden and perhaps even more brutal than in Rich and Famous. The way the film makers show how criminal life does not pay and will not work is very merciless and occasionally reminds also of the work of other directors depicting same themes like Takeshi Kitano and John Woo. Everyone is exposed to violence and it will hurt and destroy the "good" as well as the "bad" everytime it's being used. The mentioned final massacre at the gangster boss' house is pretty close to the finale in Woo's Tomorrow 2 but still doesn't reach its surreal atmosphere and completely over the top mayhem. The action is pretty breathtaking in Tragic Hero and it all looks as great as it does in the greatest efforts of the genre. Other Hong Kong action maestros like Kirk Wong and Ringo Lam have a very noteworthy colleaque in the form of Taylor Wong.

Chan Wing Leung's soundtrack is also surprisingly effective and adds to the dramatism of the scenes. It may sound occasionally a little like Ennio Morricone's music in Sergio Leone's masterpiece Once Upon a Time in America (1984) but still it has enough originality and heart to impress. Tragic Hero like Rich and Famous are both gangster films depicting big bosses, their servants, friends and their relations but still I don't think these films (nor the other original and thus noteworthy HK action dramas) copy or imitate Western films, like Francis Coppola's The Godfather saga, of the same genre at all. It is obvious Rich and Famous and Tragic Hero both came straight from the heart and that's why they are so serious, lack the unnecessary humor and happy endings and are so noteworthy as pieces of cinema.

The film has also some very clever details and ideas in storytelling like most of the assassination scenes and how they don't necessarily involve words at all: just eyes and faces to make the scenes in their silence very powerful and close to the master of silence, Takeshi Kitano. Some of the plot turns may not make too much sense like the capturing of Chow's character at one point and how it ends up. Also, at the end a dramatic and violent thing happens to Chow's most beloved ones and emotional effects of this incident should have been depicted a little more carefully in my opinion. Now it feels a little like they just wanted to get to the spectacular final action scene as fast as possible. Still the ending is very powerful, furious and extremely infernal heroic bloodshed finale and it may have the answer to my above complaint, too, if interpreted very carefully and with subsequent viewings.

Tragic Hero is very close to the greatest things HK cinema has to offer. Strong drama, incredible action and honest depiction of things in our world like violence and bad and evil thoughts inside people's minds and towards other people. No entertaining characters or calculating and commercially potential endings to make things lighter and harmless, just honest cinema. 7/10


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