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Film / Heroic Brothers

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Lam Wai (above) is doing his job, while Alex Man (below) is just happy to get a share of the action.

Heroic Brothers is a 1991 Heroic Bloodshed film (with a title like that, would you expect otherwise?) starring David Lam Wai and Alex Man (from Tragic Hero), respectively as a Vigilante Man and Cowboy Cop who find themselves on opposing sides while trying to investigate a drug smuggling ring in Hong Kong, but ends up becoming a team when they have to face a common enemy, much to the former's annoyance.

Huan Sai-keung (Lam Wai) is a former hitman who lose his wife and is now a vigilante, working as a businessman by day while masquerading as a dangerous assassin and murderer of criminals by night. Hired by the mysterious Mr. Hsu to dispose of a drug-dealing syndicate, Huan's killings are being investigated by Hong Kong police officer Man (Alex Man), a loose cannon in the police force who shoots first and ask questions later. But eventually they realize the truth behind the Greater-Scope Villain, their real enemy, at which point both men have to work together to survive in an epic final showdown.


Part of a consecutive string of Heroic Bloodshed movies from early 90s-Hong Kong cinema, spawned by the success of The Killer and following the formula to a T, but entertaining enough with plenty of shootouts (including a final action scene in an industrial zone where Lam Wai and Alex Man takes on at least 60 faceless mooks and winning) to keep fans of the genre satisfied.

This film contains examples of:

  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Huan and Officer Man in the final shootout against legions and legions of mobsters.
  • Cold Sniper: Huan in the dock shootout scene, where he took out several of Chien’s fellow dealers using a long-range sniper rifle, including Boss Kwang. Before marching straight up to Chien to snipe his face from point-blank range.
  • Construction Vehicle Rampage: In the final shootout in the industrial plant, Huan charges into battle by plowing an excavator directly through the area, running over several mooks while firing away from his vantage point.
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  • Cowboy Cop: Officer Man, a detective who often take matters in his own hands and doesn’t play by the rules. After his first scene where Man shoots four mobsters killing three of them, and Man ends up getting chewed by his superior, comes the following exchange:
    Superior: "Look what you have done. Three dead, one seriously injured. What do you have to say for yourself?"
    Officer Man: "What, really? Given my skills I should've killed them all. That injured one must be lucky…"
  • Crusading Widower: Huan lose his wife to mobsters prior to the events of the movie, and have become a Vigilante Man who swears war against all sorts of crime in Hong Kong.
  • Dig Your Own Grave: Huan, after having his cover blown by thugs, is forced to dig his own grave while two mooks holds him at gunpoint. But they made a mistake underestimating the extent of his badassery though, since a moment of distraction later Huan kills one of the thugs with a Shovel Strike and quickly subdues the other.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Officer Man, especially towards his superior. When his superior berates him for killing three people and how would he be writing his report of the incident, Man gives the following comeback:
    Man: "You can always write with your hands, sir".
  • Drugs Are Bad: The very plot of the movie is caused by Yen’s sister, May, OD-ing on drugs, which drives Vigilante Man Huan to investigate and ends up uncovering how one of Hong Kong’s leading tycoons being involved in the drug trafficking business.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: May, the younger sister of Yen, only had one minute of screentime before being revealed to have overdosed on drugs one scene later. She turns out to have a Small Role, Big Impact though, since her demise is the driving force behind Huan eagerly investigating the drug operation culminating into the climatic finale.
  • Fanservice Extra: The scene on Hu’s yacht features four random girls in bikinis and swimsuits who’s clad in this attire for their entire screen time.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul:
    • Mr. Hsu, a tycoon who’s secretly funding drug dealing operations and the Big Bad of the film.
    • Boss Kwuang, another dealer and mobster affiliated with Chien, who is a Fat Bastard himself, is also seen wearing glasses at all times.
  • Harpoon Gun: Huan uses one of these while infiltrating Hu’s yacht, which he uses to force his call-girls into a pantry at harpoon-point. And in their direct confrontation when Hu tries to whip out a concealed pistol on Huan, Hu ends up having the harpoon fired through his gut by Huan from point-blank.
  • Gratuitous English: Officer Man tends to occasionally slip out some English words every now and then, for no reason since none of the characters in the movie spoke English anyway. Although his vocabulary is limited to "sorry", "easy job", "you see" and some rather simple phrases.
  • Groin Attack: In his first scene, Officer Man gets kneed in the nuts by the prostitute he’s attempting to bed when she reveals herself to be working for gangsters after his life. After a quick shootout Man ends up pointing his pistol underneath the prostitute’s skirt with this quote:
    Officer Man: "Lady, if you don't want a second hole down there you might want to stop moving and stand down."
  • Guns Akimbo: Officer Man do this a lot, in the whorehouse shootout and in the finale. In fact, during his Establishing Character Moment where a gangster took Man’s revolver away, Man immediately grabs a second revolver hidden in his sock and shoot the gangster dead, before retrieving his first revolver and firing both away at enemies left and right.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The movie opens with a carjacking attempt where a band of car thieves attacks a young woman to steal her car, and one of them rips off the woman’s blouse trying to rape her before Huan suddenly shows up in a Big Damn Heroes moment, quickly shooting all the thieves dead… before the next scene reveals everything to be a Dream Sequence, with Huan waking up from a Catapult Nightmare. The scene does not have any bearing on the plot of the movie and is never brought up again, although its heavily implied to be a flashback of one of Huan’s many vigilante killings.
  • Giant Mook: One of Mr. Hsu’s personal guards is a huge, rather tubby mercenary in a sleeveless shirt and carrying a belt full of grenades. He lasts slightly longer than most of the mooks, but still ends up dying when Officer Man empties the entire contents of two pistols at the same time into him.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Chien, the drug kingpin (played by Shing Fui-on who previously portrayed the main villain of The Killer), is merely the Disc-One Final Boss. As it turns out Mr. Hsu is The Man Behind the Man.
  • High-Voltage Death: In the final battle, Huan manage to kill a Mook Lieutenant by shoving him into an opened electricity generator and slamming the back cover on him, causing him to fry in a Cruel and Unusual Death.
  • Ill Girl: Well, Ill Boy. Huan’s young son is stricken with some unknown disease and confined to a hospital bed or a wheelchair for most of his screentime, and is unable to even walk upright properly.
  • Improvised Zipline: The Dynamic Entry of Officer Man in the final shootout, where he ziplines himself through the industrial zone where the action is taking place, firing a machine gun with his free hand and taking down multiple enemies.
  • Infant Immortality: Played straight with Huan’s young son, who was kidnapped by the drug dealers in an attempt to force him out. After a lengthy climatic shootout with plenty of dealers killed, Huan retrieves his son who’s completely unharmed.
    • Averted for a teen prostitute discovered with her throat slashed, though.
  • I Have Your Wife: It’s more like I Have Your Girlfriend, And Your Son Too. The final shootout is sparked off by Huan discovering Mr. Hsu deciding to force Huan to surrender, by kidnapping Huan’s new girlfriend Yan and his son.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Mr. Hsu, after witnessing the aftermath of the final shootout where his mooks are all mowed down by Huan and Officer Man, immediately raises both his hands, reasoning that since Officer Man is a cop he will have no choice but to simply handcuff an opponent who surrendered. Just as Officer Man is about to take Mr. Hsu alive, Hsu reveals his hidden pistol strapped to his wrist.
  • I Work Alone: Invoked, prior to the final shootout, Huan decides not to drag Officer Man into the whole mess and purposely knocks out Man before locking Man to a nearby table using Man’s own handcuffs. But Man escapes anyway and arrives in the final battle just in time to provide a Heroic Second Wind for Huan.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: Huan infiltrates Chien’s mansion hideout while disguised as an attendant, and even manage to locate his underground secret quarters in the process.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Officer Man’s reasoning on why he isn’t keen on investigating the vigilante killing orchestrated by Huan. To quote what he said to his superior, "He’s killing the scum of society anyway, why stop him?"
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Huan and Officer Man had an impressive montage of the two of them packing themselves with weapons before the final shootout. Though Huan knocks out Officer Man to go on the shootout alone.
  • Manchild: Officer Man, despite being a badass and tough-as-nails super-cop, is also downright immature, cracking jokes and refusing to take his superior’s scolding seriously. In one scene he appears to be serious while accepting a phone call, but he’s actually flinging paper airplanes behind his desk while watching Dangaioh on a television set nearby.
    • When push comes to shove and Man gets to take part in shootouts, he then becomes a Psychopathic Manchild who makes silly quips while taking names.
  • Manly Embrace: Prior to the final shootout, Huan and Officer Man have a manly handshake… before Huan suddenly knocks Man unconscious by hitting Man in the back of his head, knocking Man out cold and declaring that he works alone.
  • Non-Indicative Title: The two protagonists are NOT related, despite what the title states. They do count as Blood Brothers though.
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: In the climax, Mr. Hsu, the Big Bad, pretends to surrender, only to reveal a concealed pistol strapped to his wrist which he uses to shoot Officer Man from point-blank range. Hsu tries doing the same thing to Huan, but Officer Man is Not Quite Dead and shouts a warning just in time, for Huan to gun down Hsu before he can repeat the same trick on Huan.
  • One-Man Army: Huan can take on legions of mooks single-handedly without breaking a sweat. In the final shootout when he’s back by Officer Man, though, they then become a Two Man Army.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Huan is the red, Man is the blue.
  • Shower Scene: Officer Man in his first scene, before bedding a prostitute, takes a shower to "get himself refreshed for sex". He ends up stepping out of the shower to see two gangsters next to the prostitute, ready to kill him while he’s only in a towel.
  • Slashed Throat: Huan kills the bodyguards working for Hu while infiltrating the yacht by slicing their throats. Also, in an earlier scene in a morgue features a deceased 13-year-old prostitute whose throat is cut after an argument with a pimp.
  • Throwaway Guns: Officer Man packs several pistols with him in the final shootout, frequently using two guns at a time and disposing of used weapons by throwing them aside and whipping out new ones.


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