Blu-ray Review: HEROES SHED NO TEARS

HEROES SHED NO TEARS was written and directed by John Woo and stars Eddie Ko, Lam Ching Ying, Lee Hoi-Suk, C├ęcile Le Bailly, Philippe Loffredo, Chin Yuet-Sang and Lam Ching-ying.

Hong Kong action veteran Eddie Ko stars as soldier-of-fortune Chan Chung, the leader of an elite Chinese commando force enlisted by the Thai government to capture General Samton, a powerful drug lord from the Golden Triangle.  After a successful raid on the general’s headquarters, the mercenaries cross into Vietnam and encounter a barbaric colonel (Lam Ching Ying), who is determined to stop them at any cost. Now pursued by both Samton’s henchmen and the colonel’s troops, the heroes flee for the border of Thailand, outmanned and outgunned by their enemies. 

This 1986 action adventure follows a group of Chinese mercenaries hired by the Thai government to sneak into enemy territory and capture this drug lord. The team is led by Chan Chung (Eddie Ko) who also has to look after his young son and sister as they try to make their way back to safety once they kidnap General Samton. This dangerous mission doesn’t come without a little fun time because some of the men find time to do a little gambling while others have a little sex.

Chan and his men end up getting some much needed assistance from a lone wolf and his girlfriends but even the two sides joined together aren’t enough stop the relentless Vietnamese colonel and his goon squad from attacking them. Each team member and ally meet their maker as the enemy takes them out until it comes down to Chan, who still has Samton as his prisoner, and the maniac that won’t stop chasing him. Even after Chan is left for dead, his young son is there for him and somehow the brave soldier breaths enough life back into himself to finish battling it out with his nemesis until he finally takes him out and is able to continue on his mission.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and the list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inside is a booklet that includes some liner notes and more images from the movie. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. Film Movement Classics has given Heroes Shed No Tears a new 2K restoration. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, I went into Heroes Shed No Tears thinking it was going to be another first time watch for me but I remember checking it out during Kung Fu Theater when I was a kid. I’d tune in very Sunday to watch those fun martial arts movies and that’s how I ended up remembering this one. This is an extremely fun movie that’s maxed out with action scenes and even a little cheesy humor. You gotta love the relationship between this father and son and how they can communicate with their eyes. Heroes Shed No Tears is an extemely violent watch with way too many bullets flying around to count, over-the-top theatrics, big explosions, body mutilations, dismemberments and more. All in all, John Woo knows how to tell a fun story and keep the viewer invested throughout the watch and this one here is a blast. There’s also the stunning cinematography by Naragawa Kenichi that compliments Woo’s directing skills nicely. By the way, the movie looks and sounds fantastic in high-def. Heroes Shed No Tears is now available for the first time ever on Blu-ray.

Distributor: Film Movement Classics

Run Time: 93 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen ( 1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: Mandarin and Cantonese Surround Sound 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include an interview with star Eddy Ko and a new essay by author, film programmer, and Asian film expert, Grady Hendrix

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