A Hero Never Dies - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Hero Never Dies Reviews

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March 3, 2016
Simple, condensed but stylish & effective.
½ December 1, 2015
This is the most important Johnny To film, for this is the first film noir by To and the film in which To establishes his own style as an auteur. Although influences from past Hong Kong noirs are very strong (theme, plot and some details like Ching-Wan Lau's character on a wheel chair are very John Woo-like, and Leon Lai's character is very much similar to the killer he played in Kar-Wai Wong's "Fallen Angels".), To's own style can be recognized throughout the whole film. Several gunfight sequences (in the middle and the ending of the film) are the very highlights of the film, and they are probably the best gunfight sequences To has ever done until today. Action (movement) itself and tension-rising quick cutting are of course great, but also the dramas (bond of fighters, feud with the boss, and friendship between the two heroes which To thinks is something stronger than anything) told very in the gunfight without a word are the best part. Some sentimentalism which is seen in the choice of theme music (famous old Japanese pop "Sukiyaki") and in scenes of the parting of the hero and his girlfriend in sunset is what is excluded in later films by To in the process of him sharpening his style, but I liked them. Some scenes look little bit too affected and comic-like, but this is definitely one of the best works by To.
½ May 26, 2014
Johnnie To's signature style shines throughout this flawed film!
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2013
heroic bloodshed to end all heroic bloodshed. that damn song will be stuck in my head for weeks
½ September 20, 2013
Intenso, violento, autoironico, drammatico e commovente. Il cinema asiatico ha tanto da insegnare.
January 23, 2013
A sepulchral standoff is the culminating point of a flick permeated by a ghostly aura. Heroes may decay, may end maimed and ruined, but never dies: Let's call it the gothic big daddy of HK crime flicks.
September 24, 2012
Pezzo grosso, forse un po' troppo retorico per l'annata, ma chi se ne frega...
July 12, 2011
Starts off as a promising action feature but then slowly deteriorates into an overly melodramatic mess.

Rival gunmen Jack and Martin work on opposite sides, each working for gang bosses. When the bosses call a truce, the gunmen are betrayed for some odd reason.

A few contrived and convenient tragedies occur and not much happens until the main characters shoot everyone in the end.

The essence of suspense is taken away when the only things the gunmen care for are taken away. A cool action scene at the end is pretty nice, and the beginning rivalry that turns into friendship reflects Johnnie To's later masterpiece, Fulltime Killer.

An interesting movie for early Johnnie To, but even as a fan of his work this was a very weak entry.
½ December 2, 2010
leon lai acting badass, sean lau is a cowboy, how can you pass that up?? lol, the material is middling but it's johnny to's style plenty of ballistics action! like a modern western! when you're as cool as these three men, you've made it!
April 3, 2010
Lau Ching Wan and Leon Lai shoot a bunch of guns and look AWESOME doing so in Johnny To's macho, heroic-bloodshed film, A Hero Never Dies. It's a classic story used many times by Cheng Cheh, John Woo and other HK directors: two life-long rivals develop an uncanny bond and come together to thwart an evil threatening them both. It's the better bad guys versus the badder bad guys. You can tell who the badder ones are by their lack of honor. Of course the film has To's trademark style and charm, and it also has a great original score; one of my favorites in any HK film. Not as good as The Mission or Exiled, but still pretty dang good.
½ February 28, 2010
A stylized neo-noir version of John Woo's A BETTER TOMORROW (1986), added with To's trademark quirky visual style that also evokes a bit of Sam Peckinpah and Sergio Leone. As unique as the film sounds that nevertheless please most genre fans, it is more of an elaborate exercise in visual display than a cohesive whole. The plot is flimsy and there's hardly any depth beyond the surface. Still, Leon Lai and Lau Ching-Wan are fairly engaging screen presences while it's rare to see female counterparts (Fiona Leung and Yoyo Mung) in this kind of genre as as equally subtle. The action are highlights here, notably on the night stakeout scene in the cheap hotel and the all-hell-breaks-loose shootout finale in the nightclub.
November 16, 2009
Io questi film cantonesi li trovo cosi' troppo retorici: tradimento, sacrificio, vendetta, l'eroe che non muore mai. Eppure, il duello finale, fra luci, colori, vetri in frantumi e corpi crivellati vale da solo tutto il film.
½ May 26, 2008
last time i saw this film was at the festival fantasia and what i remeber from it is it was very violent and like a lot of chinese movie very touching
May 20, 2008
Early days' Johnnie To.
April 21, 2008
time pass movie......Johnnie To tries to pull off john woo style.....but does not succeed....nice
effort tough.....good performances by all actors ....nice twist at the end.......
½ April 5, 2008
Boring gang movie with rival members trying to kill each other when they're not drinking together. Never thought I'd find a Johnnie To movie I didn't like but here it is.
January 21, 2008
Too much to pack in an hour and a half... one is left wishing that there was more exposition of the history of the friendship between the two main characters. I believe the movie is a re-make of an earlier work, which I have not seen.
December 22, 2007
Two competitive triad members on different sides, constantly competing and killing, coming together and sipping good wine at a bar. it makes no sense, but so good. I love the theme song.
December 12, 2007
Very stylish! This movie is one of my favorite Milky Way flicks.
November 18, 2007
This is why Johnnie To is my second favourite director after John Woo. Incredible story telling.
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