Tragic Hero

1987 [CN]

Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

IMDb Rating 6.3 10 580

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
August 24, 2022 at 01:29 AM


Top cast

Yun-Fat Chow as Li Ah Chai
889.86 MB
chi 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 36 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Bogey Man 7 / 10

Explosive and impressive gangster drama

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

Reviewed by leighm 4 / 10

Too bad Danny Lee has such a small part.

Danny Lee's performance as a wisecracking cop is the only spot of interest in this film, even though it has an excellent cast including Chow Yun-Fat, Carina Lau, Andy Lau, Shing Fui-On and Alex Man. CYF plays a triad boss who wants to settle down to a life of peace and plenty but Alex Man, a total psycho who has a big grudge against CYF, won't let him. CYF tries to escape to Malacca but to no avail. After his family is blown to bits, his cronies dead or turncoat, wounded and broke, CYF returns to Hong Kong to get into some serious revenge.

It sounds a lot better than it is. CYF is well-dressed and handsome, looks pained, grimaces and cries on cue, but somehow or another you just don't care. Andy Lau looks great, but that's about it. Carina Lau has a tiny, tiny little part which was nice, but she gets a bullet in the head early on so that ends that. Alex Man is a cartoon villain he's so over-the-top which at times can be intriguing but the writing here is so flat that he just comes across as a garden-variety nut.

Danny Lee is great though - too bad he's only a small blip on the screen of this dark (literally) and essentially boring movie.

Rent it, don't buy it. Or just skip it altogether.

This is the sequel to "Rich And Famous", even though it apparently was filmed simultaneously; it was released first because of CYF's boxoffice power.

Reviewed by Schwenkstar 3 / 10

A completely mediocre Triad thriller

"Tragic Hero" is a film that is most definitely trying to emulate the classic Godfather films, focusing on family, crime, loyalty, and revenge. Also, this is part of a two part series as The Godfather also was (at the time). However, this film comes nowhere near the level of those classic films and actually fairs worse than other Triad thrillers being released in Hong Kong at the time.

One reason is the acting. With the exception of Chow Yun Fat, the acting is generally over the top and unbelievable. The audience tends to find the proceedings humorous simply because the actors' inability to maintain any degree of seriousness. As a result, we find the film not truly emotionally involving or intense since we don't particularly care what occurs with these characters.

Another reason is its lack of focus. The narrative tries to incorporate many different story elements into the film, but this results in portions of the movie becoming underdeveloped as well as lacking any real sense of coherency. The audience sometimes becomes lost at the proceedings we are viewing, not knowing what the character's motivations are.

The film's climax does contain a decent gun fight, but again since we don't care about the characters, we don't care who lives or who dies; The scene loses it's intensity and suspense because of this. The other action set pieces are rather mundane in nature, with a feeling of it being too controlled rather than free flowing.

In general, this is a strictly average film and isn't recommended to the general film viewer... Only hard core genre enthusiasts and fans of Chow Yun Fat should consider this film for viewing.

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