Also known as Usefulnotes/HongKong Blood Opera, this is a genre of Hong Kong Action Cinema made popular by directors like Creator/JohnWoo and Ringo Lam and actors such as Creator/ChowYunFat. HeroicBloodshed plots are primarily modern-day crime action pieces that focus on revenge, redemption or some kind of conflict between rivals or enemies on both sides of the law, with a special focus on gunplay. There's a very strong theme of honor, loyalty and betrayal in these movies, particularly those made by JohnWoo.

Characters spin, [[UnnecessaryCombatRoll roll]], and [[LeapAndFire dive]] across the room while blasting away during shootouts, often with [[GunsAkimbo two guns at once]]. Often, a good dose of kung fu is also mixed in, particularly when kung fu stars appear in such movies. HeroicBloodshed pictures, in keeping with their name, are also incredibly violent, with a good amount of blood flying and often substantial body counts before it's all over.

Protagonists are usually [[NobleDemon honorable criminals]] or hard-boiled enforcers of either the police or the criminal variety, resulting in [[GrayAndGrayMorality very morally ambiguous plots]], which makes for some interesting parallels with occidental FilmNoir.

Not to be confused with old-style [[MartialArtsMovie martial arts]] films, nor {{Wuxia}} which is Chinese classical {{fantasy}} about feuding [[KnightErrant knights errant]] using MagicalMartialArts. These films instead prefer the modern cop and [[DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster gangster]] milieu, and the martial art of choice is GunFu. Except when it's a TabletopGame/FengShui game, then it's pretty much the same.

For more information about the genre, see TheOtherWiki's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroic_bloodshed article]].
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!!Common subtropes and related tropes:

* BackToBackBadasses
* BadassInANiceSuit
* BadassLongcoat
* BashBrothers
* BloodBrothers
* BloodlessCarnage: Often averted -- this genre is called "Blood Opera" for a ''reason!''
* BloodstainedGlassWindows
* BlownAcrossTheRoom
* BottomlessMagazines
* CowboyCop
* DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster
* DisturbedDoves
* FacelessGoons / {{Mooks}}
* GunFu
* GunKata
* GunsAkimbo
* TheGunslinger: Type C
* HitmanWithAHeart
* HonorBeforeReason
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy
* LeapAndFire
* ManInWhite
* MexicanStandOff
* RedOniBlueOni
* SympathyForTheDevil
* TheSyndicate
* TheTriadsAndTheTongs
* ThrowAwayGuns
* UnnecessaryCombatRoll
* WhiteShirtOfDeath
* {{Yakuza}} and related tropes
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!!Examples of this trope:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/ABetterTomorrow'' - directed by Creator/JohnWoo. Stars Ti Lung, Creator/LeslieCheung and Chow Yun-Fat in his breakout role.
* ''A Better Tomorrow 2'' - directed by Creator/JohnWoo. Stars Ti Lung, Creator/LeslieCheung, Chow Yun-Fat and Dean Shek.
* ''A Better Tomorrow 3: Love and Death in Saigon'' - directed by Tsui Hark. Stars Chow Yun-Fat, Anita Mui and Tony Leung Ka-Fai.
* ''Heroes Shed No Tears'' - the first gunplay movie directed by Creator/JohnWoo, released after ''A Better Tomorrow''.
* ''Hero of Tomorrow'' - directed by Poon Man Kit starring Max Mok.
* ''Dragon Family'' - directed by Lau Kar Leung and starring Alan Tam, O Chun Hung and Max Mok.
* ''Legacy of Rage'' - directed by Ronny Yu, noted for being Brandon Lee's first movie.
* ''City on Fire'' - directed by Ringo Lam, starring Chow Yun-Fat and Danny Lee, noted for inspiring Creator/QuentinTarantino's ''Film/ReservoirDogs''.
* ''Killer's Romance'' - directed by Phillip Ko Fei and starring Simon Yam. Based on ''Manga/CryingFreeman''.
* ''Rich and Famous'' - directed by Taylor Wong and starring Chow Yun-Fat and Andy Lau.
* ''Tragic Hero'' - directed by Taylor Wong and starring Chow Yun-Fat, Andy Lau and Alan Tam. Was intended as a sequel to Rich and Famous, but ended up getting released first.
* ''Just Heroes'' - directed by Creator/JohnWoo, with none of Woo's previous stars, though Danny Lee, who plays in this one, would go on to appear in...
* ''Film/TheKiller'' - directed by Creator/JohnWoo, and starring Chow Yun-Fat and Danny Lee.
* ''Bullet in the Head'' - directed by Creator/JohnWoo, and featuring Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Jacky Cheung, and Simon Yam.
* ''Once a Thief'' - directed by Creator/JohnWoo, starring Chow Yun-Fat, Creator/LeslieCheung and Cheri Chung.
* ''Film/HardBoiled'' - directed by Creator/JohnWoo, featuring Chow Yun-Fat and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai.
* ''Full Contact'' - directed by Ringo Lam, starring Chow Yun-Fat, Simon Yam and Anthony Wong.
* ''Exiled'' - directed by Johnnie To, starring Anthony Wong, Francis Ng, Roy Cheung, Lam Suet and Simon Yam.
* ''Film/TheInfernalAffairsTrilogy'' - directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, starring Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Andy Lau. One of the more cynical series.
* ''Film/HardTarget'' - JohnWoo's first American movie, starring the "Muscles from Brussels," Jean Claude Van Damme.
* ''[[Film/BrokenArrow1996 Broken Arrow]]'' - directed by JohnWoo, starring John Travolta and Christian Slater.
* ''Film/TheCrow'' - This movie has many elements of Heroic Bloodshed, particularly in the boardroom and church shootouts. Brandon Lee's final movie.
* ''Film/FaceOff'' - JohnWoo's best American flick, starring John Travolta and Nicholas Cage as both hero and villain.
* ''Film/MissionImpossibleII'' - directed by JohnWoo, starring Tom Cruise.
* ''Film/TheMatrix'' - The Wachowski Brothers pay homage to the genre in a big way, particularly in the first movie.
* ''TheMummyTrilogy'' - Stephen Sommers just loves to pay homage to this genre, in particular the [[GunsAkimbo ranged combat style]] of the O'Connell family's men.
* ''TheReplacementKillers'' - directed by Antoine Fuqua and produced by John Woo. Stars Chow Yun-Fat and Mira Sorvino.
* ''Film/{{Equilibrium}}'' - Kurt Wimmer pays homage to the genre by means of inventing a [[GunKata new gunplay-based martial art]].
* ''Return to a Better Tomorrow'' - Wong Jing's attempt to revive the franchise created by John Woo. Wong Jing being Wong Jing, however, he's not too successful.
* ''HeroicTrio'' follows this genre to the letter with the possible exception of gunplay. Only one of the girls uses guns.
* ''American Yakuza'', directed by Frank Cappello and starring Viggo Mortenson, Ryo Ishibashi and Michael Nouri.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''{{Hellsing}}'', while not explicitly falling into this category, draws strongly from it, with cool gunfighting and heavy moral ambiguity.
* ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' may ''seem'' to be this genre at first, but on closer observation, it plays the cynical subtropes straight while ''mercilessly'' demolishing the idealistic ones. Unlike true HeroicBloodshed, the series holds absolutely '''no''' faith in honor, hope or fundamental human decency.
* ''Anime/{{Noir}}'' and ''Anime/{{Madlax}}'' are Creator/BeeTrain studio's loving, if distinctly [[GenderFlip feminine]], tribute to a once distinctly masculine genre.
* ''CowboyBebop'', specifically storylines involving Spike, Vicious and the [[TheSyndicate Red Dragon]].
* ''AppleseedExMachina''
* ''Sanctuary''
* Although short on gunplay, the extreme balletic violence and perversely honourable moral element of the blood opera was part and parcel of ''Manga/CryingFreeman'' -- for the superpowered leader of a vastly powerful criminal conspiracy, Freeman Yoh spends a lot more time battling criminals and indirectly aiding the downtrodden than actually committing the kind of deeds which keep a crime syndicate afloat -- it's like a mafia film which [[TheFamilyForTheWholeFamily is all 'doing favours' and no 'collecting on debts']].
* ''{{Gungrave}}'', particularly the part that takes place in the past, is a quintessential HeroicBloodshed anime (the present-day part is similar story-wise, but its style changes to account for various hypertech wonders).

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''ComicBook/TheCouriers''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* If a game in the modern juncture of ''TabletopGame/FengShui'' doesn't focus on Martial Arts, it's most likely this.
* The Gunplay genre from ''TabletopGame/HongKongActionTheatre!'' covers both the HeroicBloodshed genre and other movies that have their characters using guns a lot.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/{{Stranglehold}}''
* ''VideoGame/MaxPayne''
* ''VideoGame/TheOpera'' mod for ''VideoGame/HalfLife2''.
* The ''RyuGaGotoku'' series, like ''Manga/CryingFreeman'', uses many of the same story-related tropes as a lot of HeroicBloodshed films, only it's more of a brawler than a shooter.
* ''True Crime: Streets of LA''
* ''DeadToRights''
* HeroicBloodshed is one of two main sources of inspiration for ''{{Wet}}'' (the other is Tarantino movies).
* ''VideoGame/SleepingDogs''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The ''SamuraiJack'' episode "Tale of X9" draws heavily from this and FilmNoir.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Back in 2007, as part of the promotion for his new game ''{{Stranglehold}}'', JohnWoo held a "True To John Woo" Short Film Contest in which he invited amateur filmmakers to make a short film in the HeroicBloodshed style. [[http://www.myspace.com/strangleholdgame Here's the link.]]
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