Hot on the heels of ‘Rich And Famous’, Taylor Wong followed it up with the direct sequel ‘Tragic Hero’ continuing and completing the story of gangsters Yung, Kwok and Chai. Set some years after its predecessor, it sees Kwok (Man) released from prison after betraying and trying to kill his brother Yung (Lau) and their friend Chai (Yun Fat) at the climax of ‘Rich And Famous’. Now a successful and ruthless mob boss in his own right, all Kwok has on his mind is exacting revenge on Chai who is now attempting to lead a peaceful life with his wife and son. Kwok, becoming increasingly unhinged, is a shadow of his former self and sets about destroying Chai’s life and all those around him. Desperate to end Kwok’s reign of terror, Chai calls on Yung to return from exile (and his own now quiet life) in Malaysia to help stop Kwok once and for all, leading to an epic gun battle showdown.
Slicker and superior follow up to ‘Rich And Famous’, ‘Tragic Hero’ is a straightforward tale of a gangster seeking revenge and those he’s seeking revenge on uniting to take said gangster and his empire down. Moving faster and featuring more action than ‘Rich And Famous’, ‘Tragic Hero’ propels from one scene of Kwok causing death and chaos for Chai to the next, as he systematically destroys his once friend’s perfect life. Alex Man is again fantastic as the now-no-redeeming-features Kwok and plays him full tilt evil that he comes off as more of an OTT cartoon villain: just with a penchant for extreme violence. Yun-Fat is much more front and centre this time around having had the supporting role in ‘Rich And Famous’, with Andy Lau now regulated to said role. In fact, Lau’s role feels so slim compared to ‘Rich And Famous’ that it’s essentially a cameo and he’s just there to meet up with Yun-Fat come the final for the epic shootout showdown.
And what a showdown it is, featuring raging firepower gunplay, epic explosions and hundreds of Kwok’s men being slain in squib-tastic fashion. Perhaps not as slickly staged as other heroic bloodshed fare, it makes up for it with bombastic flare and smack-you-in-the-face violence. ‘Tragic Hero’ goes harder than its predecessor, jettisoning much of the overwrought drama and focusing on revenge mayhem and improved action.
Still not hitting the heights of other well regarded heroic bloodshed flicks of the era (‘A Better Tomorrow 1 & 2’, ‘The Killer’ etc), ‘Tragic Hero’ is nevertheless an entertaining entry in the genre, looks great on this newly released Blu-ray and completes the saga of Yung, Kwok and Chai in a satisfyingly action-soaked manner.