Heroes Shed No Tears

This early effort by John Woo gives hints of some of his later themes of honor, loyalty and at times shows a flair with action scenes, but it is on the whole quite a confused mishmash. It reminded me for some reason of a Spaghetti War film. The film was released (and re-edited by Golden Harvest) in 1986 after the success of Woo's A Better Tomorrow, but was in fact made some five years earlier.

The story revolves around a group of five mercenaries who go into enemy territory to kidnap a drug lord. After successfully doing this, they have to fight their way back through hostile forces of the druglordís men, Communist Khmer Rouge (I think) and local hill tribesmen. Lots of action - some of it quite intense and brutal, some pretty terrible acting and some moments when the movie goes astray for reasons I canít imagine. I read that the sex scenes were inserted later by the producers and were not shot by Woo. Certainly worth viewing to see early Woo. Eddie Ko as the primary good guy is fairly impressive as an almost John Wayne type character and Lam Ching-Ying is quite enjoyable as the evil Captain.