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Film / Gatao 2 Rise Of A King

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Gatao 2: Rise of A King is a 2018 Taiwanese Film telling the story of two gangsters, Ren-ge (Wang Shih-hsien), the Number Two of Bei-guan, and Liu Jian (Collin Chou of The Matrix fame), a friend of his looking to make it big in Taipei.

Liu Jian is arrested for firing his gun in a public area, but tells Ren-ge that once he's out, he will get a piece of Taipei Ren-ge failed to obtain because of his boss Gui-dong. Three years later, Liu Jian is out and brutally murders the owner of the territory, then a war ensues.

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Gatao 2 has examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating: Yong-chun. As Ren-ge tells him, his tactics are frustrating. Though it seems subverted as he does have loyal enough henchman.
  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Liu Jian, as he tries to get Ren-ge to allow his drugs through and beats up one of Ren-ge's men for trying to help peddle his merchandise.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Liu Jian, who dies alone and having achieved none of his plans, shot dead by his henchman, no less.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Liu Jian, as he brutally murders someone to get a piece of territory and later tries to get Ren-ge to agree to his terms and be under his territory.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Huai-huai's hand is cut off when the four remaining Tigers ambush him outside a nightclub.
  • Anyone Can Die: At the end of the film, barely anyone is left standing, as most characters bite the dust.
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  • Arc Words: "Sad songs are songs of brotherhood." It means that gangsters will always get killed, but it also means that the brotherhood of the past means nothing now, which may be also referring to Liu Jian and Ren-ge's relationship.
  • Ax-Crazy: Huai-huai, thanks to being on drugs most of the time, and in the same vein, his boss Liu Jian who is trying to take everyone over by peddling drugs.
  • Benevolent Boss: Surprising coming from Liu Jian of all people, but ends up subverted as he tells Biao to put three million in Huai-huai's bank account for his family, then tells him to make sure they shut up.
    • In contrast, Gui-dong and Ren-ge are genuine ones, as they do not want their men to get hurt, and wish for a peaceful end to all things.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Five Tigers are pretty friendly people, but piss them off and they will swear at you and beat you up.
  • Big Bad: Liu Jian, who wants all of Taipei in order to peddle his drugs through and make a profit.
  • Big Bad Friend: Liu Jian was a friend of Ren-ge's that he truly cared about, but he gradually went off the deep end until he's peddling drugs.
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  • Big Bad Wannabe: Yong-chun. He tells Ren-ge he cannot kill him because of his father's relationship with Ren-ge's boss Gui-dong, and later unwisely threatens Liu Jian when the latter comes calling.
  • Big Damn Heroes: At the end, when Liu Jian orders his men to kill Ren-ge, Ren-ge's men arrive to rescue him and kill Liu Jian and his men.
  • Big Good: Gui-dong, the boss of Bei-guan, is this, as he reasons with Ren-ge not to be greedy and be satisfied with what they have to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Huai-huai after being stabbed by Pang-da.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: When ordered by Liu Jian to murder the National Security Bureau member, Biao instead turns his gun on his employer and kills him.
  • The Brute: Pang-da seems to fulfill this role in the Five Tigers, and he shows it by taking on many gangsters at once during the fishing fight.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Many characters do this to Bei-guan leader Gui-dong to tell him that times are changing and they must retaliate. He ends up somewhat correct though, as the revenge only leads to more casualties.
  • The Cavalry: C and his men arrive at the last minute with Ren-ge's men to kill Liu Jian.
  • Car Cushion: Yong-chun lands on a car after being tossed off a roof, and this kills the driver inside as well.
  • Co-Dragons: Liu Jian has Biao and Huai-huai.
  • Cycle of Revenge: The Five Tigers take revenge for Chao's death by killing Huai-huai, which later causes Pang-da to be murdered.
  • Deadly Bath: A gang leader is stabbed to death in a bath during the opening credits, and blood ensues forming a Yin-yang symbol.
  • Destination Defenestration: Huai-huai tosses Yong-chun off the building and onto a car.
  • Dies Wide Open: Many characters, including Huai-huai and Chao.
  • The Don: Gui-dong is a straightforward example of this, having lots of men, control and being dressed in extremely tasty suits.
  • Downer Ending: Liu Jian, whom Ren-ge has always treated like a friend, goes off the deep end, and later dies. He does not win either, as the mob war results in many of his proteges and friends getting killed. Qing is also arrested for his crimes.
  • The Dragon: Ren-ge is himself the Number Two of Bei-guan and serves as this to Gui-dong. Ren-ge himself has one, which is Qing, who also leads the Five Tigers.
    • Biao also acts as this to Liu Jian, before he betrays him and shoots him dead at the end of the film.
  • Driven to Suicide: Pan-shuai is unable to face the fact that he has to spend 20 years away from his wife and kids and leaps off a roof to his death.
  • Elite Mook: Subverted with Diablo, who is there most of them together with Biao and mocks Ren-ge before killing him, but goes down relatively quickly into the gunfight.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Liu Jian has an offscreen one as it is revealed that Biao is the one that killed him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Most gangsters presented have families; Chao has his grandmother, Pan-shuai has his wife and son, and even Ren-ge and Gui-dong have wives and families.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The National Security Bureau member working with Liu Jian is rather disturbed by the man's unhealthy ambitions.
    • In the same vein, Yong-chun also shows concern when Liu Jian is involved in drugs, and he does not want to get involved, leading to him getting killed.
  • Exact Words: Liu Jian promises to call Ren-ge up after getting the piece of territory he failed to. Sure enough, he rings Ren-ge up almost right after he sees Yong-chun's death on the news.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Liu Jian displays this trope when interacting with Ren-ge, as it is clear he only wants the piece of the territory.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Liu Jian remarks he doesn't have a single man he can count on, and soon enough is later killed by Biao.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Liu Jian, after his three years in prison, comes out and starts his own gang while being backed by the National Security Bureau and starts gobbling up Taipei.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The Five Tigers' retaliation against Liu Jian and his clan turn out to be this, leading to three of them dead and the other two being arrested.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After being injured by Huai-huai, Chao rescues his boss and buys him time by grabbing onto Huai-huai, and gets shot in the process.
  • Irony: A flashback reveals that Liu Jian wanted to continue studying when he was younger and therefore did not take up Ren-ge's offer to join Bei-guan. He eventually became the Big Bad and a rather nasty individual.
  • Jerkass: Liu Jian, who has no excuses being such a mean prick to someone he considers to be a true friend.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Liu Jian is seen to have done this in his second scene, since he is dealing with drugs which is considered by nearly everybody to be an absolute no=no.
  • Karma Houdini: Biao, who disappears after killing Liu Jian and seemingly gets away with his crimes.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: The four Tigers ambush Huai-huai outside a bar while he's completely weak from all the partying and sex.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Liu Jian dresses in expensive suits and drinks fine wine in nearly every appearance.
  • Man on Fire: Biao kills Pang-da by setting him on fire as revenge for killing Huai-huai.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Literally. Because all of the gangsters are male, there are no female deaths.
  • Mob War: Occurs near the end of the film between Liu Jian and Ren-ge. It does not end well.
  • Multiple Gunshot Death: Poor Chao receives this after using his body to prevent Huai-huai from murdering Ren-ge.
  • Murder by Inaction: Near the end of the film, when Gui-dong has a heart attack in front of Qing, Qing delays bringing him his medication so that he will be out of the way and Ren-ge can take revenge on Liu Jian.
  • Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters: Bei-guan are known to be this by the whole community, even the police, although the younger members want more territory.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The remaining four Tigers do this to Huai-huai for his brutal murder of Chao, cutting off his hand before stabbing him multiple times.
  • No Name Given: Many gangsters, including Diablo and JV, aren't even named until the credits despite playing rather major roles.
  • Numbered Sequels: The film's title is an example even though the story isn't related to the first film.
  • Pacifist: Bei-guan leader Gui-dong, who only want peace in Taipei and does not eat up territory unnecessarily so as to maintain a peaceful existence.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Qing gets Gui-dong to move using this trope, but Gui-dong decides not doing anything will be a better choice.
  • Police are Useless: Averted as a whole. After the big fight between Bei-guan and Bei-cheng the leaders of the two gangs are taken into custody, though they are later released. Qing also ends up arrested for his crimes.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Bei-guan as a whole, as they only wish to have a peaceful existence. The younger members, though, want something more.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Ren-ge technically wins, defeating all of Liu Jian's men, but Liu Jian dies without being able to say a final goodbye, and his treasured Five Tigers are nearly all dead and the rest arrested.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • The surviving two members of the Five Tigers are arrested for their acts of violence.
    • The Mob War causes heavy casualties on both sides, including many main characters.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Gui-dong, a rather wise and old leader of the Bei-guan clan.
  • Save the Villain: Ren-ge spends the entire film trying to do this and get Liu Jian to become good again, but at the end of the film seems to realize his old friend is a gone case and leaves him to his fate.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Chao, whose death is when we realize Liu Jian has gone off the deep end and his henchman is really just that crazy and sadistic.
  • Sleazy Politician: The National Security Bureau member that works with Liu Jian. However, it seems that he only wanted to use him to clean up Taipei, but it backfired tremendously.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Chao, one of the Five Tigers, who dies at the end of the first half, which causes the cycle of revenge and all the fighting that happens later on.
  • Smug Snake: Liu Jian, who believes without a doubt Ren-ge will support him, and then beats Ren-ge's man for him, before declaring he will take all of Taipei.
  • The Syndicate: Liu Jian leads a drug-smuggling operation in Taipei in order to spread his influence.
  • Tattooed Crook: Most of the gangsters have tattoos adorning their entire body.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: After Chao is already beaten up an injured, Huai-huai empties his gun into him for no real reason other than to establish his craziness. In the same vein, he is later stabbed five times in the chest by Pang-da.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Not one that happens to the stupid person, but Ren-ge and the others really should have gotten Chao the heck out of there while the poor guy was injured.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Liu Jian, who after coming out of jail only wants Ren-ge to agree to using his territory to smuggle drugs and working under him. He later even has one of Ren-ge's men beaten up.
  • Undying Loyalty: The Five Tigers to Ren-ge. Even Liu Jian admires this aspect of Ren-ge as he feels he has zero associates he can trust.
  • The Unfought: The corrupt National Security Bureau person who works with Liu Jian.
  • Vengeance Denied: For most of the film, Qing has to act on his own after his bosses, especially Gui-dong, do not want any further bloodshed.
  • Wham Shot: A double one reveals that Liu Jian is dead and it is his henchman Ah Biao that killed him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ren-ge has one near the end of the film when he realizes Qing indirectly murdered Gui-dong.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Subtle, but Liu Jian seems to give off this message as he silently orders his henchmen to finish off Ren-ge.
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