My Heart is That Eternal Rose
Director: Patrick Tam
Stars: Kenny Bee, Joey Wong, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Michael Chan, Kwan Hoi-Shan
A retired Triad member (Kwan) is enlisted for one last job -- to smuggle a fugitive back into Hong Kong. Kwan enlists his daughter's boyfriend (Bee) to help. The job goes wrong and Kwan is captured by the Triad and Bee is forced to go into exile, leaving the daughter (Wong) to sell herself as a whore to the local Big Brother (Chan) to save her father. After six years, Bee returns to Hong Kong as an assassin working for Chan and reunites with Wong. The Big Brother isn't too keen on letting her go, so she (along with Bee and friend Tony Leung) must fight for her freedom.
Even though it isn't mentioned much by critics and fans, My Heart is That Eternal Rose is one of the best examples of the "heroic bloodshed" genre. The plot is by-the-numbers, but the film has a solid script and top-notch acting all around that sets it apart from most of the other A Better Tomorrow wannabees released after that film's success. Director Patrick Tam manages to derive enough from Woo's classic film while adding his own elements into the mix.
I was reminded a bit of Ringo Lam's On Fire series while watching this movie. It has a very gritty feel that seperates it from other HK crime movies. Even though there is a element of romance running through the movie, the sense of fatilism almost overpowers it. These are not the over-glamorized characters present in many other crime movies. They seem more realistic and that makes the movie more enjoyable.
Those looking for action won't be disappointed either. The gunfights are very violent and explosive, and thanks to noted cinematographer Christopher Doyle, they look great as well. My Heart is That Eternal Rose just may be the best heroic bloodshed movie you've never heard of.
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