BestFellas: A Better Tomorrow 2 Commentary

To Listen, Click… Here

What happened?! Tonight, Donovan and Harrison don their shades and dusters for a viewing of A Better Tomorrow 2, a true knockout — but for all the wrong reasons? A sequel to a bona fide classic, this semi-reluctant follow-up, with its tale of emotional amnesia, psychiatric rehabilitation, and killing 100 people in a house, is a bewildering ride. Through the eyes of director John Woo, we investigate themes of masculinity, foreign cool, and action violence.

A bad HK John Woo is better than most, including “good” American John Woo, and A Better Tomorrow 2 remains a genre landmark, whose visuals show up in stateside cinema and anime. He’s a master of cinematic time and space, and this is where the aesthetic was forged — messily, to be ironed out in time.

The Cool!

The Weird!

The Gay!

The Violence.

Runtime: [03:07:59]

Music Selection
A Better Tomorrow theme
Once Upon a Time in China theme

Further Reading
An investigation into the lack of kissing in the Marvel Cinematic universe
The Face/Off Podcast
Blackjack (1998 film)
The sincerity and sensation of John Woo’s The Killer

“Specifically, the ways in which the spectacle of violence propels, rather than interrupts, the narrative indicates how Woo’s model of masculinity provides an important counterpoint to the kind of film theory which frequently assumes that the realm of spectacle is reserved only for women and that spectacle always draws the story to a halt.” (Jillian Sandell)

Next time on Questions: We Don’t Have Answers…

Anime at the Gates


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