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
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.
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.
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.
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.
i decided to give this movie 4 stars as an average score. this is definitely not John Woo's best movie, and you can see where there were some issues with the script and story, but the action in this film (more specifically the final scene) tops out nearly any other film in the genre. everyone talks about the final action sequence of this film, and it is unequivocally worth every bit of hype.