A prequel to A Better Tomorrow and an underrated classic!
May 1, 2009
A Better Tomorrow III:Love and death in Saigon is an underrated masterpiece. The film takes place during the final days of the Vietnam War. Mark Go (Yun-Fat Chow) and his friend (Tony Leung Ka-Fai) are in South Vietnam on a business trip and also to meet Leung's father. The two have a rough time getting into the country until they meet a mysterious gangster's moll (Anita Mui). Awhile later, the three form an unusual friendship. Mark Go learns a lot from Ms. Mui as she teaches him how to survive in a brutal environment.
A great film from the ever reliable Tsui Hark. What I like about his films is that he always has strong female characters. Anita Mui is simply wonderful in this movie. She also shows her vulnerable side (she's not always hard as steel). Mark grows up quick in war torn Saigon. Tony Leung Ka-Fai is good as well (serious for a change instead of playing his usual goofy gigolo persona). The action scenes are staged very well (they don't dominate the film). And what's a film starring Anita Mui without those skinny jokes (yes, a movie with Anita is not complete without a couple of skinny jokes at her expense. The movie was knocked in many ways because it's so different than the first two. I say,"So what!" The film is an essential action film from the master Tsui Hark.
Anita Mui also performs the songs in the film. Especially the haunting theme song heard in the middle and during the end credits of the film. A fitting song in so many ways.