When three close friends escape from Hong Kong to war-time Saigon to start a criminal's life, they all go through a harrowing experience which totally shatters their lives and their friendship forever.
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung,
A seasoned cop and his rookie partner are a pair of mismatched partners in this Hong Kong action-comedy in the style of 'Lethal Weapon'. The wacky twosome are up in arms as they try to solve the murder of a heroin trafficker.
At the end of the Vietnam war, Cheung goes to Saigon, intent on bringing his uncle and cousin back to Hong Kong. In Saigon, Cheung meets beautiful gangleader Chow, and relies on her help for their safe return. A love triangle develops between the cousins and Chow Further complicating matters, Chow's lover Ho, a gang leader, appears Ho deports the cousins, and kills their uncle. Cheung and his cousin return to Vietnam seeking revenge, while Chow and Ho also become entangled with a local vietnamese warlord. Chow tries to stop the battle, but the warlord kills Chow and Ho. Just before her death Chow gives the cousins the last two air tickets with which to leave VietnamWritten by
L.H. Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
John Woo (director of the first two films in the series) wrote the original screenplay for this third installment, but he never got to direct this third entry due to having had artistic differences with producer Hark Tsui during the filming of A Better Tomorrow II (1987). Instead, John Woo took his screenplay and made it into the film Die xue jie tou (1990). Hark Tsui himself would direct his own version of A Better Tomorrow III. The two films have many parallels, most notably, both being set in the Vietnam War. See more »
In the subtitled version, Ho reveals that his real name is "Tanaka". However, later in the film he refers to his name as being "Tokito". The role was being played by 'Saburo Tokito'. See more »
A 130-minute Mandarin version was released in Taiwan and has appeared on home video several times over the years. No Cantonese version is in circulation, but an English dub appeared on VHS in France. A 145-minute cut is said to exist, but it is unavailable on video and may be apocryphal. The Taiwanese VCD advertises a running time of 145 minutes, but it is in fact the 130-minute edit. See more »
A lot of people tend to think this movie is inferior to the first 2 ABT's. If you are one of these people, keep in mind that its pretty much due to the story. I think the direction and acting wasn't bad at all. Like many prequel/sequels, it suffers from hype and expectations. If its made exactly like the previous movies, then we have a rehash. If it goes in a different direction (like in this case) it runs the risk of alienating a lot of loyal fans.
Not sure how many of you knew the storyline prior to watching the film. I was at least privy to the plot summary before watching it in the theaters way back when. So I at least knew it took place in the 70s in Vietnam. Right there and then, I knew it would be very different from the first 2 films. War-torn Vietnam of the 70s would hardly be the kind of place where you find our heroes riding around in Rolls Royce's, making high stake deals in fancy hotels or mansions, wearing Fracescetti suits, etc. A lot of the "cool" element of the original is due to Chow of course, but settings and atmosphere had something to do with it as well. And Vietnam is not the kind of setting we're previously used to.
What the film does show, is probably a more realistic side of smuggling and counterfeitting. You make your deals at night in dark alley ways, your clothes are cars are are much less flashy (to avoid attracting attention to yourself). And of course, Mark hasn't acquired his cool persona yet, so we're missing that important element throughout most of the film.
In short, much of what we see is not entirely unexpected if you took the time to read the synopsis on the video box. Because the movie takes place at the time and place it did, I'd say the crew did an OK job.
As a prequel to ABT, I am a bit surprise at the choice of location if not the time. I remember a scene in the original ABT where Mark talks about the "old days" of making counterfeit deals with Ho in Indoesia!! That was suppose to be 12 years ago according to movie dialog, which would place us in the early 70s as well. So the movie would've been more continuous if we had Mark working for the H.K. crime organization already, and making drops in Indonesia (with or without Ho, depending on whether they can get Ti Lung back for the role). I also think it might have been more interesting this way. Anita can still play Mark's love interest, and much of the current ABT3 storyline can be incorporated; as long as Mark isn't so goofy and inexperienced.
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