The New York scenes, as broad and cartoonish as they are, feel beamed in from another movie entirely. Overall, though, the high-octane melodrama of the original movie - the sweat, the suffering - is replaced with the kind of grandeur and opulence of an early Francis Ford Coppola film, widening Woo's canvas in a satisfying way. And the finale of "ABT II" is nothing less than the minting of an action cinema god.
This sequel far surpasses its predecessor in the action category. This film is non stop gun fights and the final one at the end is a marvel of the cinema. Also this is the film Patricia Arquette is watching in True Romance.
A classic if "Batsh*t" were a subgenre. Action becomes an end to itself, informing the plot and cadence beyond the point of self-parody - mutating into not simply a cacophony of bullets but of shooting stars, mystery twins, and fried rice. Any scene with Yun-Fat and food rivals the most megalomaniacal of Nic Cage - fully committing himself to lunacy. One of the characters goes insane and back again, just like us.
After the revolutionary and kinetic 'A Better Tomorrow', the sequel comes across as a haphazardly constructed parody of its far superior predecessor. The behind the scenes fallout of Tsui Hark and John Woo is to blame, as the editing (completed by the production company's editing suite) is a complete mess lacking in any tension, drama or even continuity. Only watch for an insanely demented performance from Dean Shek.
Like the first one, this was also pretty enjoyable, however I still will have to go with part I as my favorite. This one has some of the most outrageous action sequences. Bodies drop like flies everywhere and endless magazines of ammo run rampant throughout. Chow Yun-fat reprises his role (sorta) as the fight goes from Hong Kong to America to Hong Kong again. The "eat the rice!" scene is still pretty hilarious.
[4.5/5] - Personally, loved it and more so than the original even if that's not a well held opinion by many. A melodramatically rich experience that strikes a fine balance between melodrama and action. Dean Shek's newly introduced character is the real heart of this film for me. In most other films, the addition of Chow Yun-fat by lazy contrived writing would be more problematic than in the insane worlds of Woo.
i agree w the consensus on this film, not as classic as the first but it still has some interesting additional elements, like its depiction of race relations & crime in 1980s NYC (though it's not dealt w in a particularly thoughtful way), and turning the tables on the american dream. still pretty cool & i'll never look at rice or oranges in the same way again
More dramatic than the first one, also has a better shoot out scene, but the first is superior visually and technically. Kit's death sequence is reminiscent of Coppola's majestic baptism sequence in The Godfather. Chow Yun shines as much in english as in cantonese.